On a Pharmaceutical Referral for Ars Poetica
by Jeffrey Alfier

The shrink said my bar poems, like my life,
were “foreclosed into negative identity

with a counter-public sphere.” Off-guard,
I mumbled that my lines were countersunk

into sanctified Blues. What other rejoinder
could I have offered the cool lexicon of her eyes,

her puzzled brows raised, as if she’d found
herself in a vacant room. She reached

for her prescription pad, scrawled syllables
on the eye-shadow blue of tamper-proof paper,

some word that rang like the extinct language
of a phone number found after closing time.

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