Keith Driver




There were flecks of gold leaf on everybody's monitor

The dark birds flickered over everybody's eyes

Everybody stood around in sandals

Everybody of the light robes

Everybody had a different list of taboos

Everybody's uniform - dew gemmed

Everybody fell into the highway's cleft

Fuck if everybody wasn't clicking on the same eggshell linens

It was the future - everybody staring through a plexiglass visor

It was the iron age - everybody's favorite abstractions got personified and promptly skipped town

Everybody of the downy arms

Everybody was standing in lines for brigands

It was a custom for everybody to drink from the same glass of water

Everybody tasted of new mown grass

Everybody was being flayed on the generous lawn

Everybody was an act of faith

Everybody followed the actor's dictum

Everybody whispered and when they whispered they whispered into a veal-colored seashell

Everybody of the soft Kussen

Everybody trying to recognize a maple

Everybody threw a favorite painting on the pile of flame

Everybody thought nobody could name the dark flickering birds


they were standing around in their big white sneakers
we were eating cranberry gelato

they were asleep in the window seat
we were licking the flintlocks

they were creating a kid-friendly environment
we were fat-assing your neighborhood

they were  ending the beginning
we were editing our own wikipedia pages


Everybody is using the same excuse for skipping the committee meeting

Everybody has a couple friends in the intelligence community

Everybody is wondering what we're going to do with all these slabs of limestone

Everybody is grinding up her prescriptions and passing them around on pieces of mirror

Everybody lives in a different place but everybody calls where she lives the city

Everybody’s eyeliner is runny

Everybody is going for that runny eyeliner look

Everybody’s in the red zone, whatever that means

Everybody can’t convert

Everybody is trying to define or claim ownership of this idea of Brooklyn

Everybody is sorting their refuse


They were erasing some words from Milton to make it into something else
They were roasting asparagus with pepper and Himalayan pink salt
They were looking at the smeary wet horizon
They were asking for it
They were customizing their uniforms
They were still faxing shit to each other, if you can believe it
They were saying lissome heads of buttercups
or they were saying windsong in the chimneypots
They were claiming the virtues of art for everything
and they were refusing everything else
They were half plantar faciitis and half vestibular neuropathy
They were pretty concerned about trace amounts of prescription meds in the water supply
They were autotuning everything into the national anthem
They were suckling, but only ironically, but it wasn’t actually ironic, it was totally sincere
They were like
They were all


everyone was pickin em up and putting em down
everyone’s shoelaces were dragging through the oily puddles
The sunlight was a slime everyone was trying to wash off
everyone was standing around in big white sneakers
everyone was coming up for tenure
Wars sensitized big donors and everyone was trying not to ruffle any feathers
everyone was covered in feathers
everyone kind of fell out of bed and into a uniform
everyone kind of fell out of love and into a laugh
The Department of Defense sent everyone a status of forces agreement
everyone signed it
everyone was warming up on the instruments of surrender
Some of what went on was nobody's business but everyone stuck his nose in
The pitch-pined breezes lifted everyone's hair
everyone's new sweater was ruined with sap
Somebody once said that history was a kind of cheap cloth bought by the yard in the
                 smutty, warehousey part of town, but everyone went on buying it because that part of town was on the way 
                 to the new mall.
everyone's sense of decency was made concrete - t-shirts with statements of outrage and approbation
It wasn't everyone's fault that the stray dog two houses down died a slow painful death; but everyone felt responsible
everyone dealt with her own guilt
everyone failed basic marksmanship, but excelled at all the written portions of the test
everyone was combing his moustache, or waxing his moustache, or finally shaving off  his moustache when the sky
everyone looked up into the big, chromey sky
It was important to everyone but mattered to nobody
Earlier, years ago, during the revolution, everyone underwent a humiliating public process that required the
                 application of various feathers
everyone still got nostalgic about the revolution though
everyone walked around in waistcoats and everyone had manners and everyone's prose was much more hypotactic


There was this ash drifting through streetlights like dandelion seedlings and landing on
                 everyone's hair

everyone was remembering some other winter when it snowed even more

everyone's flute was either broken or hadn't any holes drilled in it, making it just another
                 piece of wood

everyone was gathering wood for the bonfire everyone was planning

everyone was hoping nothing important got burned in the great fire

On the other side of the torn open ocean everyone's best friend was either studying or
                 killing people for a living

What was everyone's problem?  It wasn't as if everyone had a choice.

There was sunlight and old-style hats and everyone was getting photographed by someone with a mound of flash
                 powder on a stick

everyone was trying to acquire an anvil, maybe the last anvil in history

The road to Antwerp, where everyone knew things of great value were being traded, was blocked by brigands and
                 men with scarves tied around their heads, but everyone loaded up the caravan anyway, because why not

There's a guy, flabby hands, coughing into his sleeve, standing by the writing station at the bank and he goes
                 "everyone's got a story , eh buddy?" and I go "speak for yourself pal."

There's a file on a desk somewhere in a complex of windowless offices and everyone's name is in it.

everyone was reaching into the tarwagon with a stick.

everyone was hoping the cat would either get better or just die already

Right after highschool everyone went to college but didn't really know why and ended up dropping out after a year
                 because of a humiliating fight with the wrestler down the hall

Meanwhile the earth-encircler peed in everyone's cheerios


Everyone was writing a novel that started, "I was born and it was Tuesday and these
                 things stayed true for the rest of my life."
Everyone was helping her parents fall in love in the distant past
Everyone was afraid of the truth about Michael Jackson
Everyone there was an enormous Irish hooligan the color of boiled lambfat.
Everybody walked around as if all his bones had been smashed and reset by someone
                 who didn’t understand human anatomy
The mud-colored river aneuryzed and popped, the ashy clouds fussed across the denuded plains where everybody
                 was living, getting by, rubbing two sticks together.
Everyone's outfit was a little too matchy-matchy

KEITH DRIVER was born and raised in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in Third Bed, Jubilat, Pindeldyboz, and elsewhere.

Read More by Keith Driver:

Three poems in B O D Y