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Every Hospital by Bertrand Goldberg (Except One) by Toby Altman

Winner of the 2018 Ghost Proposal Chapbook Contest. Edition of 100. Printed + assembled by Cold Cube Press in Seattle, WA. Sold out.


Say you’re building a table. At this table, it will be possible to eat an unremarkable meal. Or you might lay your taxes across it, many forms and receipts, since your jobs are forced and brief. Say that the table is made of particleboard or plywood, something you pulled out of the neighbors’ trash and laid across two sawhorses. To describe this table, you begin with experience itself. “How” (you are addressing an audience) (an audience under sedation or restraint), “does it cohere?” You quote a line of poetry, e.g. “being many, seeming one.” You wanted to build this object in such a way that it is free to have a life without you. You wanted it to unfold as a BUDGET unfolds. Tentacles of grey silk or chemical snow. And all the city is its organ. In its presence, you have no knowledge of what you are. Or this knowledge has no value to you.

About the Author

Toby Altman is the author of two books, Discipline Park (Wendy’s Subway, forthcoming) and Arcadia, Indiana (Plays Inverse, 2017). His poems can be found in Gulf Coast, jubilat, Lana Turner, and other journals and anthologies; his essays and reviews can or will be found in Contemporary Literature, English Literary History, and Jacket2. He recently received a 2021 Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.