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Thad DeVassie

The procrastinator's story

The procrastinator's story

There’s the generously padded swivel chair, a notebook of half-baked ideas, a blinking cursor in its always silent and anticipatory syncopation, a hot cup of coffee, and Mahler in the air. It’s perhaps the perfect portrait of craft without production mucking things up.

This is not to say he hasn’t tried. To the contrary, he has sent off countless feeble premises like sulking school children into rush-hour traffic only to meet an untimely fate.

It is reminiscent of the time he worked the line at the bureau of insects in charge of dragonflies – forming the head, thorax, rectal gills – and constantly pitching them to the wind without wings. Again, the kids, that traffic.

Thankfully he knows there are the eaves that need scraped and painted, a periodical that beckons, demanding tabs to be kept on progress and industry. And so he goes about truncating the day, closing up shop, and giving in to the late local news and the exhaustion of being menial.

Productivity and achievement are measured in the sum of parts, affording him to put the day’s output to rest with confidence, just in time for the night shift of hard labor to take over where ripping hacksaws and pounding ball peen hammers resonate inside the head, where the mental work of forging a perfect pair of unflappable wings occurs, propelling the inexplicable brilliance born of the night just so he can hunt endlessly for it tomorrow like a set of misplaced keys.


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Thad DeVassie’s poems and prose poems have appeared in New York Quarterly, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, North American Review, Poetry East, West Branch, NANO Fiction, PANK Magazine, Fifty-Two Stories and Sycamore Review among others. A lifelong Ohioan, he runs a communications consulting firm in Columbus.

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