Poetry

Care and Feeding of the Cummins Shredder

Bring only good intentions:
volumes of the past

too thick to burn
too dead to resurrect

Approach with gentle touch
feet securely anchored on clean swept floor
voice set for coaxing

Experiment with the thickness
of the feed: a single sheet
whines for something more solid

anything fatter than a pancake
halts all progress

Listen for the growl of satisfaction

Paper cuts are a potential hazard
Band Aids are on the shelf behind you

Think horizontal

Insert documents to match the wide grinned teeth

Cradling that larger portion of your life in the less dominant arm
a swift back-hand-flick-of-the-wrist works an easy feed

DO NOT SPEED

Find your rhythm

Allow the cut to drop and fall before introducing new

REMEMBER: You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t necessary

Should the shredder refuse to drop & congest at back of machine
press red triangle on your right, turning machine
off before proceeding to press shavings
through hole in the back of the laminate counter—

BEWARE of sharp steel edge at back of machine

When bag nears full, compress shredding
to create room for new material

Whatever you do, keep an upright posture

Do not stoop over feed which may be hungry for
long hair, ties, scarves, jewelry

Follow all instructions: never use reverse