Angular Times


All my doodles become

monsters. I press

too hard when I write, meaning

snapped leads and jagged rips

through lined

paper. The beings with triangle

teeth want to know what I’m

doing to their


home. A teacher told me to

tap

my index finger on my pencil to loosen

my grip. I forget


the trick most days, until I can’t

open my right hand

after I write exams or scrawl a

world. These wounds were made

with claws. At some point I shifted from

printing to looping to ragged


zigzag spikes

so each of my words looks like a signature

or an alien landscape. A place where no one

would dare

call my doodles abnormal,

though the thrillers suggest certain


grey investigators in tired suits can profile

serial killers from

their handwriting. Everyone hears that

and makes one of two jokes. Oh no, you

got me, or good thing

I only text. Psychoanalysis


of the ordered and chaotic. How does anyone

link all the times I sign my name when

none of them are the same and some of them

have faces? No one can forge

eyes. We live in angular


times, where detectives light another

cigarette and shake their heads, then

flip the note over and feel for

stories hidden in dents. To be misshapen,

there must be a correct form. Sigh out


smoke. They don’t know anymore. Most of

of lines don’t lead to monsters, just

clenched hands and hearts. Take out

a dull pencil and start to doodle

something unknown. There are things


worth fighting, many worth

finding, but monstrosity

is rare. I always make mine out of

whatever I can’t read on

my first try.



Angular Times, Cale Plett. Image provided by Alen Banman IG: @artbyeal


Cale Plett (he/they) is a nonbinary writer who lives in Winnipeg, where they are watching and listening for stories. Some they remember, some they forget, and some they turn into poetry, prose, and lyrics. Cale’s poetry and fiction are published and/or forthcoming in Grain, CV2, The Anti-Languorous Project, and Riddle Fence.


IG: @calesmoothie

MORE POEMS