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I’m lousy with the concept of good enough // I guess it was whenever nuclear energy became mainstream that we started talking about severe emotional distress as meltdown

1.

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.

2.

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.

1 thought on “I’m lousy with the concept of good enough // I guess it was whenever nuclear energy became mainstream that we started talking about severe emotional distress as meltdown

  1. Feeling this one hard.
    Gun to the head is my hypothetical luxury. Love.
    I grew up ten miles from Three Mile Island.
    At the beginning of the pandemic we watched
    Chernobyl, and I felt pride in my Ukrainian culture.
    Assholish, yes, but able to face up to the end of the world.

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