Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.


Last year, I participated in the poem-a-day challenge at Poetic Asides. Robert Lee Brewer posts a prompt every day and you’re supposed to write a poem in response–30 poems in 30 days–which for a less prolific writer like me is a draining experience, especially since most of the poems I wrote last year turned out to be throwaways, poems written with little or no intention of following up on them.

So why do it again? Because some good work comes out of it, and because I think there’s a benefit in forcing the process sometimes. Also, I’m looking at a metric fuckload of grading right now, and through the month since our semester ends, for all intents and purposes, at the end of April, and forcing a poem out every day might help me keep my sanity through all that.

Today’s prompt was to write a lonely poem, and it struck me sitting in my office between classes staring at my screen that even when I put myself in a situation when I should feel like I’m alone, I’m often anything but. So here’s my first try for the month.


I’ve closed my office door,
alone but for laptop hum
and muffled voices, Twitter feed,
Facebook pop up, email ping,
push notifications on my phone.
All one among the live online,
plugged ears, eyes down,
enscreened, streaming.
A wonder we don’t bump
more often, navigation
by peripheral vision, glimpses,
flashes. I see couples jog,
knees synchronous pistons,
matching chest heaves,
matching iPods sleeved
around bicep–they’re wired
separately. Dinner is Yelped
instead of chatted over, eye
contact wastes too much time.
No one’s alone. We’re all alone.


April 1, 2010 - Posted by | National Poetry Month, original poetry, Robert Lee Brewer |

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