Recorded for Poem-a-Day, October 21, 2016.
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

An Accounting

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.

Copyright © 2016 by Brett Fletcher Lauer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 21, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Brett Fletcher Lauer

Brett Fletcher Lauer

Brett Fletcher Lauer received an MFA from Saint Mary’s College in 2007.

by this poet

poem
I cut the orange in two 
  and the two parties 
are not equal. I watch 
  the driveway, study 
irregularities in market 
  fluctuation, the bird
humming at the feeder. 
  It’s colder than yesterday. 
Very dark. I’ve been here 
  now two years and 
haven’t received a letter.    
  One hour of sleep 
before
poem

I understand what
a jump shot is,
certain mechanics

of the body, hand
positions, elbow
alignment, follow

through. Enough
player names to
mention around

the imaginary water-
cooler if I found
myself there. A body

at rest still needs
to hydrate. I