Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tuesday poem #304 : Seth Landman : 3:33:33

I get antsy when the free time comes
I think where should I go
I go to Maine alone and think
I am alone
by the sea
don’t bring the sea into it
the house ummmmm the mind
alone on the drive
I am in the darkness
an owl is sitting in the middle
of the road staring at me
I really freak out
a thing with wings sitting down
the steering wheel steers
I steer using the wheel
its purpose
all these forces pushing me back
to equilibrium
I have this feeling
I’m not supposed to have
I call my doctor in September
but they’re scheduling out through the winter
I email my doctor
I reach out to the medical field
I go through this phase where I’m like
okay I’m going to return every email right away
when there’s something to do
I’m gonna just do it
I look up a problem on the internet
I calm myself down with statistics
and then get struck by lightning
suddenly my phone
starts defaulting to a screen to do with
barometric pressure
suddenly there is a storm
and I think what is conjuring what
if you want to be a poet
you have to be a poet
a sort of anxious half-assed toxic mindfulness
you have to sit there and let ridiculous
language confound you
and say you are articulating
the whole in ragged impossibility
for the sake of the part
that needs you
when I was a kid
this one part
of my hair would always stick up
now nothing grows there
no hair finds purchase
what about seeds
what about that really
cool wool cap
I had when I was 18
and that later I saw in a photograph of me
with a friend sitting on my lap
such  unconscious closeness permitted
certain times in your life
otherwise what you can gather from experience
nails drilled into fossils
scraping across endless slate
how it feels to be like
what should I do now
and go ahead with regret
when I was 20 I drove to California
I had never been west of Albany
it was hard to say goodbye to my mom
who was with me driving
when I got to California I was already
nostalgic about California
my mom flew home
I still can’t explain that feeling
my hair was already thinning
somewhere a pine tree was already waiting ominously for me
a smoking planet somewhere
in another solar system
with a star at the center
spitting out Hydrogen Helium Lithium
Beryllium Boron Carbon
Nitrogen Oxygen
Fluorine Neon Sodium Magnesium
Aluminum Silicon etc. everything so abundant
in the crust of the Earth
I look at my clock
it is 3:33 I look at my phone
why do we call it a feed
why do you show up in there

Seth Landman is the author of the full-length poetry collections Confidence (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2015) and Sign You Were Mistaken (Factory Hollow Press, 2013). His work can be found in Boston Review, iO, Jellyfish, Lit, and elsewhere. He received his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Denver (2013) and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts (2008). He is an English teacher and boys’ basketball coach at The Putney School in Vermont.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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