Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Day 7

Another title prompt–this one asks you to use the word “until” in the title. This one also took me a while to get into, but I’m not completely disappointed with the final product.

Just a side note about the way I feel about these poems: I’m self-deprecating about my writing in the first place–it’s a defense mechanism that I should probably tamp down more than I do–but I’m being more so than usual with these poems because 1) they’re coming from a more directed place than my poetry generally emerges from and 2) because these really are first drafts, thrown out there for consumption. Of the poems I wrote last year for this project, I think maybe five survived to be revised and sent out. The same will probably happen here, and I know that going in. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them. Here’s the latest.

Until I Learn

I’ve stopped making to-do lists
because 1) I’m never done
2) I forget to put things on them
and feel silly adding items
to the top just to cross them off
3) There’s rarely anything
not-tedious on the list so reading it
causes me great anxiety and makes
it less likely that I will actually do
what I need to 4) I am like my mother
who often said when asked why she
had us call her by her first name
replied “I have no problem being
a mother; I just prefer not being
reminded of it every moment
of the fucking day” 5) My mother
never said “fucking” 6) At least as
far as I can remember 7) I am
easily distracted back to the list
8 ) For the reasons I do not make lists
that is 9) I have a dodgy memory
and use that as an excuse for being late
10) When I forget tasks, people tell me
to make a list and I tell them I planned to
but forgot 11) They never think that’s
as funny as I do 12) Lists add order
and I prefer entropy in a system
13) Unless it’s a system I’m trying
to get something I need from
14) Which makes me a hypocrite
I realize but I would like to think
that in an entropic world I would
rebel by making lists for every action
I planned to make revising
them as the need arose with arrows
curving up and down the page
coded in different colored inks
(with indexes block-printed neatly
at the bottom of the page of course)
every step every nervous pacing step
marked out as duty necessary
to perform each in its proper order
15) Yes I suppose this is such a world
but it’s also very organized in many
complex ways and the patterns are
obvious if you only search for them
and I really don’t care to list them
for you at this particular time
16) There is nothing to do which
isn’t the most or least important
thing you could be doing right now

Advertisements

April 7, 2010 - Posted by | National Poetry Month, original poetry, Poetic Asides |

1 Comment »

  1. 4) I am like my mother
    who often said when asked why she
    had us call her by her first name
    replied “I have no problem being
    a mother; I just prefer not being
    reminded of it every moment
    of the fucking day” 5) My mother
    never said “fucking” 6) At least as
    far as I can remember 7) I am
    easily distracted back to the list”

    Fantastic lines.

    I feel less alone after reading this poem.

    I’m a a compulsive list maker but never get past item 1. Items 2-infinity curl up in that sad, dark place where mundane tasks go to die. Then I eat ice cream with gummy bears.

    Comment by Hannah Miet | April 9, 2010 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: