Crowdsourced Projections
A Stanford Bop

Barbara Ruth
I need to leave early,
I spent the entire weekend in crisis.
finally produced twelve pages, cut it to nine,
got it printed at 4 AM Monday morning.
He told me, “You should have 25 paragraphs max.”
I was over by five.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

It’s like getting stuck on the Great Barrier Reef.
Auditors come through
all of the first years.
It’s hard to distinguish one from the others.
None of them tick the right boxes.
We have the worst parties in the country
but you fear what you’ll miss
if you die early.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

You listen and find one comfortable in both
Spanish and Portuguese.
You look around at the unbroken horizon
no teaching, no coursework, you spend your days defining the pinnacles.
You crowdsource projections, you upload everything,
it ends up being so different from what they told you at Orientation.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

Barbara Ruth is a poet, photographer, memoirist and fiction writer living in San Jose, CA. She is in a long-term relationship which brings her much happiness and as a radical feminist, she is also a marriage resister. Her work often embraces contradictions, and, in addition to riverbabble, can be found in Elohi Gadugi Journal, Bop Dead City, Fragments of Chiaroscuro, Barking Sycamores Review,Yellow Chair Review, All In Your Head, 3Elements and many literary, disability and queer anthologies.


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