T.J. Smith

Hospice Memory Fugue


Turn down turn down the pale blue

sheets that feel like paper— flat—

the world outside the too-far window

horizon stretching bleak earth and pale

blue without interruption— flat line

crawl to terminus—no one coming

down from the mountain — no one

climbing over the hill—flat country

baking in the sunlight—irradiated—

no shade country of fever heat and fingers

trace lines to the vanishing point—skin

feels like paper—disaster—paper and

blue ink on a black line—no one

coming to save you—sound blip –

cottonmouth machine drone— foregone

visions and conclusions—no one coming

back from flat country—harsh line

shriek to terminus—turn down

the machinery—turn down—catastrophe—

—catastrophe—pale sheets —and blue.


T.J. Smith is a poet in New York. Originally from Jacksonville, FL, he studied German and Creative Writing at Princeton, and he’s currently completing an MFA at NYU, where he’s the web editor of Washington Square Review. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gyroscope Review, Split Rock Review, Red Flag Poetry, Drunk Monkeys, Snapdragon, Stoneboat, and Nassau Literary Review.