Michael T. Steffen






Worker of Puzzles


We’re people on a train but he has found

On that flat square of a newspaper’s tenuous

Paper something like a distance coming

For him. As his pen is held suspended

Over the square to be completed, instead

Of merely traveling, sitting there he goes

In the direction of an answer to

The hint configured in the missing numbers

(Mirroring the deficits around us).

He isn’t passive. He is working on

If not the problem, a problem like the problem.

Bells are rung. He looks up from his page—

A shimmer through the train into this next

Station whose wait will not accuse him, just then

Given another part of the solution

Traced down to the coordination in

His fingers searching for the space to fill.





Don’t budge, you say. It wouldn’t be nice

To break a lady’s grip. This time

You play the drunk, mean with your daddy’s eyes,

Locking me in a strength of his arms—


So suddenly here at my desk

I drop my pen. Slurring you ask,

’m I not here, bucko? Who

Was that broad you were talking to


At the dry cleaners across the street?

Minutes, your head dropped to my shoulder,

Stretch through the window onto the stars.

I could protest, sitting here forever. 











Michael T. Steffen a étudié la littérature et la langue française à Belmont, Nashville et Tenessee. Par le Rotary International, l’écrivain a été accepté à une maîtrise sur la Renaissance dans le cadre de l’Université du Sussex, à Brighton, en Angleterre. Il a vécu de sa plume, durant cette période, en France, en pratiquant l’écriture, la traduction et l’enseignement dans les années 1990.  Il a été publié avec poésie dans le magazine ACM (Another Magazine Chicago), dans  WIbbetson Street et dans Wilderness House Literary Review, et a reçu le premier prix de poésie en 2007 de la part de Somerville News Writers Festival.

Son premier livre Partner, Orchard, Day Moon sera publié en 2011 à Červená Barva Press. Il vit actuellement à Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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