No one moves, illustrated by Roz Chast

Roz Chast! I just have to say before the feature poem begins: I am backflippingly thrilled to have Roz Chast's art in my book. Besides having loved her panels for years, she's also in a book that provided early inspiration for my current project: What The Songs Look Like, illustrated lyrics of Talking Heads. See more of Roz Chast's wonderful, funny, subtle art at her website. And now...

No one moves

Public chess set in the Galleria
with 4-foot kings and queens: I’ve never seen
anybody play. You’d have to be a
chess player to suggest putting one in.
Maybe some assistant set it via

the mall manager. I know that a queen
can be moved by a pawn—but nobody
plays, far as I’ve seen, as I eat frozen
yogurt, listening to podcasts at three.
Watching a match would seem hilarious

in San Francisco’s stylishly stifled
downtown daylight. I imagine someone
putting lipstick on the kings or stacking
the castles in a pyramid pattern
after hours, after the stodgy sun

has gone. But the mall gets locked and gaffled
and thirty-two pieces stand unrifled.


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