Office hours

Once again, I watch time
pass like a death cart.

My students know I am
here, a rotting industry,

And yet they choose to
work alone as I bite my

fingernails and sip this
decayed coffee. They

say they are afraid to
ask for help, as I am

afraid to ask anything
of someone I love.

Instead, they prefer to
suffer in silence and

I cannot blame them.
I simply wish I had

someone to talk to, a
paper to help with,

a criticism to offer,
but I can’t force them

to ask. I can only
provide my services

in this empty room
with a motion sensor

light that just now
switched off and left

me in the dark, left me
waving at phantoms,

coaxing the light.


R.W. McLellan is a poet, teacher, editor, and songwriter, currently writing and teaching in the woods of western Maine. His work has appeared in OVS Magazine, Subterranean Quarterly, Buck Off Magazine, and Lower East Side Review. He is the author of Plenty of Blood to Spare (Sargent Press, 2012).

Edward S. Gault is a poet and fine art photographer. He lives at Mosaic Commons, a co-housing community in Berlin, Ma. He has a wife Karen, and daughter.