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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Prose Poem: 173 words [R]
By Paul-Victor Winters

Untitled (Significance)


Everything means something and I am sick of it. Here is a crow that thinks itself a diplomat. Here is a bluebird pining for a mate. Here is a state official driving a state van and wearing a state ID badge on a state lanyard; see her dusty van drift toward the horizon and take flight, her field notes fluttering out of the van windows like babies from a nest, yellow pages on top of white pages. Each object signifies. It’s maddening. And I am just fool enough to think I matter in some way—me, a dim tinkling bell in a discordant cacophony. The weather is stern but grows more resigned. As we should. As we should find a safe tree bough, a small canopy of steadfast branches. The sky signifying, and the hustle up and down the street signifying, as we signify, and as every piece of paper signifies, and as categories squabble with subheadings. This and thus and the significance waxes like a plastic bag caught in wind.

—Published previously in Gone Lawn (Issue 34, Autumnal Equinox 2019); appears here with author’s permission.

Paul-Victor Winters
Issue 1, January 2020

is a public school teacher, occasional adjunct professor, and writer living in southern New Jersey. He works for Murphy Writing of Stockton University and for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Poetry Program. Poems appear in anthologies from Jane Street Press, Serving House Books, and others, and in numerous journals, including KYSO Flash and Eyedrum Periodically.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Blue, climate-crisis haibun in KYSO Flash (Issue 5, Spring 2016)

Untitled (Future), lineated poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 5)

Yellow, prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 5)

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