I’m lousy with the concept of good enough
and most of living is about experiencing reactions
so old they’re not even memory. If they’re rooted
in anything they’re rooted in family, or enough generations
of family to make them seem like culture. No one
likes feeling shame or rage but gun to the head
I take rage. Gun to the head is my hypothetical luxury.
I don’t actually know my patterns, but nothing slips by
all messages are delivered–This poem is me telling my project manager
that no, I don’t always read my email. A “raw confusion” is
not the opposite of a cooked certainty, whatever either might be.
But writing is an aid to memory. A book is a mnemnoic.
Robert Burton wrote melancholy as anatomy and somewhere
in all those volumes is something about “the anxious person’s perpetual
desire to start again.” That’s not a direct quote, but that is what
you do the morning after temporarily wanting to jump out a window
like Sally in the 1974 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Have you seen it? Watch it again. She doesn’t hesitate.
I guess it was whenever nuclear energy became
mainstream that we started talking about severe emotional
distress as meltdown. Self as reactor core. So, sometime in the
late 50s? I look it up: Not till after the 1979 partial
meltdown at Three Mile Island, which is why I kind
of know what Three Mile Island was even though I don’t
really know. What is the word for being extremely
but ordinarily tired? That video of gas station clerks
falling asleep while ringing up customers. The internet
says they were on opiates but I don’t see any fact-checking.
And wasn’t there an earlier video? And an earlier one?
Two women at work. Sleeping and waking. Working.