Early in
a literature course thin-
rimmed ageless professor arch
arcane     with starch in his chin

a text’s themes
the question (more koan) seems
manageable yet a strong
fear of being wrong rears    screams

in the blood
while the mind can only scud
helplessly above the next
page as though both text and flood

of thoughts whirl
and would menacingly curl
twine    become foreign    no bridge
to the language’s gnarled swirl