Hello all,

I’ve made some changes and added a trio section to my original duet. Any as all feedback would be great to get it in top shape for my Sr. Practicum.



Inside the butcher shop

Inside their cages
the rabbits
shit on the ducks shit
on the chickens.
The butchers
are all attractive women,
less blood stained than one would guess,
wearing their white coats too well.

The stench reaches the other side of the street,
mixing with that of a nearby deli
where meat is roasting on a stick.

A young girl raps on the window
and waves to a rabbit.

She probably thinks of it
as a “bunny.”

Possible Obituaries for Philip Santos Schaffer

after Sarah Sarai and David Ives

Philip Santos Schaffer was murdered today while walking home from work. His body was found shortly after by local police, notably sans wallet. After officers gave her the news, his mother is quoted as saying, “I just knew that neighborhood was unsafe. He should have moved home. Nice boys like him don’t live in Brooklyn.”

Late last week, Philip Santos Schaffer pushed a baby carriage out of the way of a moving semi-truck. In a bizarre series of misfortunes, the driver was narcoleptic, the road was icy, and the breaks had been cut. After a brief battle, Philip died today of head injuries he had sustained at the scene of the accident. His mother lamented to her sister, “we gave him a middle name that meant saint, but didn’t actually mean for him to become one.”

Philip Santos Schaffer accidentally walked into oncoming traffic earlier today, after having been seen bumping into various trash cans and asking a light post for the time. After stepping off the curb, he was quickly reduced to a fine red paste. Once Philip’s gutty mist settled into the pavement, his mother told reporters, “He always complained about having bad eyesight. I should have given him that damn vision insurance information earlier.” When pressed further by reporters, she added, “we use Blue Cross. Outside of this, it’s been a very pleasant experience.”

After a brief misunderstanding on the R train, Philip Santos Schaffer was shot today, somewhere between 45th and 53rd Street Station. Onlookers were shocked, but not that shocked. His mother shrugged and told nearby paramedics, “he liked to stare at people.”

While writing this poem, Philip Santos Schaffer walked right off a dock and into the water separating Manhattan and Brooklyn. The thick green slime sucked him under quickly and without remorse. His mother shed a tear, but did not deny that he was an idiot. Police hope he will wash up somewhere in Jersey.

Philip Santos Schaffer was abducted by aliens today. His mother is awaiting his return in Brooklyn, and hopes they use a small probe.

Philip Santos Schaffer walked home from work today. He wrote a poem, which he did not show to his mother, knowing it would make her upset. He has not died yet, but may eventually. Updates to come.

Poem From The Woman Sitting Across From Me On The Subway

Poem From The Woman Sitting Across From Me On The Subway

Look at this boy looking at me.
Tossing his eyes so secret-like.
Like I don’t see him each time
I look up from my book, pretending
he’s embarrassed to be caught.
This is not a game of cat and mouse,
boy, I just want to see how close we are
to Canal so I can get off.


trying to see what book I’m reading.
No, you probably have not read it. No,
it is not exciting that we both like books.
Stop taking all your books
out of your backpack to show me
that you have them, it does not
look like you’re organizing. It looks
like you’re trying to show me all your books.


why are you wearing those bags
under your eyes so proudly? Why
neck cracking like a mating call? We
are all tired. All beat. Your legs
are not more sore than anyone else’s.
It is still okay that you did not offer
your seat to anyone, this is New York,
but don’t think you deserve it.


they call it stealing glances because
I’m not looking to give them away.
When our eyes just met, it was not
a cute mistake. I was staring
to fucking intimidate you into looking
at somebody else. And
I saw you fix your hair in the reflection
of the train. Making it the


kind of messy. I’ve got my finger on the trigger
of your intimacy now, don’t I? You let it slip.
The way you made sure your hair was flat
on the sides and double checked the cross
of your legs. You wont ever say anything.
I can smell pent up pick-up lines
on your breath, you’ve been holding
them in your mouth for that long.


I don’t want that one-way ticket
to your day dream. This is not a poem.
This is the N train. I’ve got places to be
and no time for the type of silence
your kind deals in. And anyways,
I do not need wooing. My heart
does not need the keys you hope
to shape for it. Some of us


keep our hearts chained.
So erase all of this. Put away the pen.
I’m just someone on the subway. Not
the vehicle for your epiphany. Not
the photo thumb-tacked inside your
heart locker. I do not need
to be written about to be whole.
And anyways, I don’t need help with that.

You do.

the essence in the flesh

how many freezing winds has winter breathed in this man’s face to carve lines so finger deep? and when did these twisted, ashen roots spring forth to replace his fingers? these could not be the fingers of his youth. even young man’s hands do not play claw as well as these. it is these claws that must have filled his mouth with hay. his voice is thick with paper, kicking out of his throat with every bullet sentence.

still, he is the cardboard delivery man who looks the most like a cardboard delivery man. his coat, his hat, his boots, are the clothes of his profession. the snow knows to ignore shoulders sloped like his, the cold has given up its assault on his toes. his hands, twisted as they are, lift and push the cardboard as if we were meant to watch this. and his voice, grappling its way down the shotgun of his throat, barks orders so efficient we begin to learn dance like him.

under his strict guidance, the back of the truck blazes and we all turn lightbulb, so fast are we firing cardboard onto the dock and into the warehouse. the cold turns around and goes home. our aching arms stop creaking so loud. our grease remembers what it is here for. it takes mere minutes to empty the truck, so cardboard delivery man is this delivery man.

when he goes home, does he keep everything on the counter in order to avoid opening a single box? does his wife massage lotion into his shriveling skin? does he throw off his beaten clothes and drape himself in furs? I imagine instead that he sleeps on a stack of cardboard. that he loves the smell. that he knows he is the best, and proudly teaches his child grace, waltzing boxes back and forth across the living room.

and if he ever dies, and I wonder if it is possible, I imagine him buried in a box made of cardboard. I imagine

he would want it that way.

A History of Jacob Philip Schaffer, Emotional Ancestor and Time Traveling, Godfather of Jacob Schaffer and Philip Schaffer

Jacob Philip Schaffer

was born to immigrant parents
and a legacy of hardship, a history

of kidnappings and pogroms

which could only be washed clean
by shoving

The Schaffers
started small;
an apartment
with a bed
for the parents
and a drawer
for little Jacob
Philip to sleep in

It was something to dig into. A place to store hardship
so deep in the ground, that when it finally found
its way back out, it would look

like corn,

or a classroom,

But in all of its hard earned beauty, the land
weighed heavy on the shoulders of Jacob Philip when both
his parents passed, his father too strong not to follow his wife
from this world.
It was in this way that Jacob Philip learned loving;
and on the day of his father’s funeral swore to be


for the woman he would marry.
Hard work is contagious,
in land and in love

has histories that scorch the earth.

But Jacob Philip was taught that the harvest
is worth more than the

And it took a lot of land

for Jacob Philip to finally harvest.
It took years of digging.

By the time he was strong enough
to rip his heart back from the ground,
he had cultivated
a dowry 3 times the size
of what his father died with .

By working hard at it,

Jacob Philip Schaffer was able
to see beauty pour from the ground
where he once hide his sorrow.

And when he too
was buried deep in the earth,
it was clear that the harvest
of a good life
was well won.

His children too now
are given the choice:

to grow and to work,
to make beauty

from all of this suffering.