Dexterity by Robert L. Penick

We are the damaged ones
making the art
singing the songs
acting the roles
to distract you
from self, time
and mortality.
You can find us
at three a.m.
on the public radio
cleaving time
planting hope
meaning, joy and,
perhaps, stamina.
We wait your tables
serve your coffee
stock your shelves
then work our quiet
unhinged hours
to create the things
that keep you

The poetry and prose of Robert L. Penick have appeared in over 100 different literary journals, including The Hudson Review, North American Review, Plainsongs, and Oxford Magazine. His latest chapbook is Exit, Stage Left, by Slipstream Press, and more of his work can be found at