The Northville Review
an online literary journal
Jumbled notes

Bryan Murray

Today I wanted to wear all my clothes,
not on top of each other,
but I wanted to take them all with me,
bring them to my meetings, lay them out as proposals:

the jeans&polo shirt mean “I’m interested
but not committed;” the khakis&collared shirt mean,
“I like this idea&have the money to prove it,
just not with me;” the sweatpants&T-shirt mean

“Where are the donuts&cookies?” Did a wolf chase
the gingerbread man? I can’t remember, &are we assuming
he’s a cookie? At any rate, he could adopt these principles
at his meetings, where everyone’s naked&ginger,

tallying death tolls, considering why wolves like gingerbread,
bargaining with the black buttons
running up their torsos like a cancer
that happens to be symmetrical.

Who’s making you gingerbread people
then letting you free, like you enjoy running
with crumbling feet? You see, I want to write these two problems,
&all day I’ve been putting things together

that probably don’t match, but what would we discuss
at our meeting gingerbread man:
me wearing eight articles of clothing,
you with your buttons&dirty feet? Take the khakis&polo;

you shouldn’t have trouble with the wolf now; your outfit says
“I have enough money to find you interesting,
but no thanks.” The frosting lips on your face crack
stretching for a smile,

although you’re nervous about this meeting,
about the milk&napkins in the middle of the table,
&the fact that I said business casual
but still decided on sweatpants.

About the author

Bryan Christopher Murray, poet, musician, graduate of Bucknell University, student of Virginia Tech’s MFA program, born and raised in the Bronx, New York, has recently published in Floyd County Moonshine, A cappella Zoo, Greatest Uncommon Denominator, Blue Fifth Review and The Legendary.