the Shape Of by Bryan Diaz

The Man Made of Paper

A Poem by Gabe DeGuire from central vpa

And there he was, covered in— newspaper?

No, on closer inspection,

the amalgamate of inked out letters and words and sentences and paragraphs and stories,

They were far too scattered and varied to be from any reliable news source.

I take a step forward, the sound of my soles against the floor reverberating,

The fragmentation of paper composition that composes and surrounds his very being,

shudders in the amplified echoes of my footfall.

His composure wavers, face enshrouded within walls of words

Eyes darting, almost in awe of my existence and


Awe becomes panic,

pace of my stride staying steady towards the infolded constant of consonants, the man

entrapped amongst his vowels, vows

wrapped around and around and around…


I tell him it’s alright,

that small mistake after

miniscule encounter,

recount, inscribed into the fibers that construct

and crease and clamp and constrict

and kill


conversation that is

Created in order to prevent the very

flaws that flourish with tongue tied

finding every action leaving behind

infraction after infraction tarnished by

the reactions and countless retractions of word and

every movement

every face

carefully calculated.


I pause, the paper man practically falling apart,

unravelling revealing

And unveiled


I avert my eyes,

as the binds

of learned lifestyle

fall for just a

moment and his