In this room, hours pass, a slight
corruption of each previous
allotted time block—and probably
confirm failure and humiliation,
which though not ideal, I accept
as historically accurate. I’m sick
of lifestyle music, the thing between
awe and detachment which Hazlitt
defines as adrift. I clear my throat
remind myself, doors are locked,
the ashtray half-full. Unless otherwise
noted, light falls from the television—
accompanies night, any available
other-worldly knowledge. What else?
I’m unhappy even at the edge of rivers,
conversations regarding weather,
any manner of appointment. All comfort
requires another voice. Ditto delusion.
For instance, these shadows imposed
from trees bent by wind and other forms
of predictive behavior, may or may
not contain consciousness. I’m still
working it out. A glass of water grows
warm. I have done terrible and middle
class things for money. This is not
necessarily an acceptable conversation.
Things are good. The serotonin
reuptake inhibitor fades another winter.
If there are things we need, there are
things we need less. I face the mirror
to say it again with feeling. Understand
this is me applying myself.
Copyright © 2016 by Brett Fletcher Lauer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 21, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“I can imagine the sad sack in this poem lying in bed, watching his Instagram feed fill up with hundreds of sunsets simultaneously being posted from various vantage points in his city, and he doesn’t take the time to get up and look out his own window at what the world is offering. And unfortunately, I completely get that.”
—Brett Fletcher Lauer
Brett Fletcher Lauer
Brett Fletcher Lauer received an MFA from Saint Mary’s College in 2007.
Date Published: 2016-10-21
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/accounting