It’s like ants and more ants. West, east their little axes hack and tease. Your sins. Your back taxes. This is your Etna, your senate of dread, at the axis of reason, your taxi to hell. You see your past tense— and next? A nest of jittery ties. You’re ill at ease, at sea, almost in- sane. You’ve eaten your saints. You pray to your sins. Even sex is no exit. Ah, you exist.
About this Poem
"After finishing a novel, I was in that drifting place, scribbling, taking notes, slowly collecting drafts toward a new book I'm calling 4:30 Movie. Terrance Hayes suggested I try to write an 'anagram/word scramble' poem—a form he'd 'invented.' As with any form or prompt, sometimes it leads somewhere, sometimes not, but there's always a surprise, and my first attempt ended up in another poem: 'If you think in anagrams,/ parades and drapes, diapers, rape, despair and aspire/ all come out of paradise.' Depending upon mood or poem I give myself different formal conditions, but every line must end (and in some poems begin as well) with one of the words that comes out of the scramble. Sometimes I use this to 'warm up'—to play. Sometimes I try it when I'm anxious—hence the title of this one."
Donna Masini is the author of three poetry collections, most recently 4:30 Movie (W. W. Norton, 2018).
Date Published: 2014-01-21
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/anxieties