Laura Schaeffer

Confessions of a Submissions Editor


When reading other poets
I have a pen ready to underline,
slash through words
sounding disabled
or weak
or unnecessary
or common
or boring.

Sometimes, depending on the weather,
I can amputate whole limbs
with a straight line,
recalling my attachment to old prosthetics
with screws that beep in public places
such as airports and department stores—
since, and maybe because of the sludge of raining months,
the artificial has voice.

Worse than a pen though, are saws
clearing trees on ridges—
the solitary thud generating dusty clouds,
and mostly, gaps between things.



Laura Schaeffer is employed with Housing Kitsap in Bremerton and serves as the Resident Services Coordinator. She has been piling up her writing under her bed for most of her life, though she came out of the closet during her college years and earned a BA in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from the UW. Schaeffer writes, “I’ve decided that I’m going to share my poems from now on because maybe, through my own hardships and struggles, I’ve learned something about giving.” She lives in Kingston.

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