You must act as though your actions arise
from a willingness to keep saying “Yes, and…”
like a somnambulist or automaton.
You know assumptions are as good as beliefs
and that no prizes are forthcoming
but the committee must not know you know
you’re not boring; you’re just bored with them.
To show you go nowhere, not “purest hell,”
die without fear. To demonstrate you
really hate someone, die without a will.
Elisa Gabbert is the author of The Self Unstable (forthcoming from Black Ocean in Fall 2013) and The French Exit (Birds LLC, 2010). Her poetry, prose, and collaborations have appeared widely in publications such as Boston Review, Colorado Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, Pleaides, and elsewhere. She is a founding member of the Denver Poets' Theatre and blogs at The French Exit. Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a member of Poems While You Wait. She is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction, including Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). Her debut novel, O, Democracy!, is forthcoming from Fifth Star Press in 2014, and her chapbook with Elisa Gabbert, The Kind of Beauty That Has Nowhere to Go, is forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press this summer.