Search Engine Sestina

This week she’s set
before me an impossible task. I want to run,
hide with the novelists, the journalists. I want to go
somewhere less . . . demanding, take
the road less painfully traveled. If I stand
fast, I could get

trampled by this new beast, get
my confidence elephant-stomped into the dirt. Set
it aside, though, and I’m a quitter. I can’t stand
the thought of that. I run
an ego-risk either way, so why not take
a gamble? Why not go

for the gusto? So be it. Now, where do I go
for help? How do I even get
started? If I simply take
the first set
of words I run
across, I stand

a good chance of failing. They need to stand
up to the pressure of reuse. They need to go
the distance, six sweating signifiers slogging through the marathon run
of this sestina. I need to push them, prod them, get
the most out of the little bastards. They must be malleable, not set
in semantic stone. I open the nightstand drawer, take

out my notebook. I begin auditioning words, take
after take, like Scorsese might. Amateurs, they stand
before me, quivering, fear deep-set
in their ‘I’s, their ‘O’s and ‘S’s all aflutter with nerves. I go
from one to the next: Action. Cut. Cut! CUT!!! They get
upset. I get upset. In an angry scribble, they turn tail and run.

Defeated, I sigh. Then it hits me. I flip off the bedcovers and run
to the den. I snatch up my backpack, take
out my laptop. A couple clicks, and I get
to Google. Curious, hopeful, I type in my question. I stand
by. In .22 seconds, 69,200,000 results. I go
to the first, and there they are, my all-star cast, a perfect set . . .

Go (368), Take (343),
Stand (334), and Get (289) – posted by Bruhaha.

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