Monday, March 26, 2018

March 26: Jamaal May, "Things That Break," Failure

Things That Break

by:  Jamaal May

Skin of a plum.  Rotting tooth.

Switches cut down by a child
to lash a child's legs.

A siege does something like this
against sturdy walls.  The wrong rules.

A dozen angel figurines flying
from a balcony.

Flailing fist.  Splint.
Forefinger and index,

dislocated (not broken).  One points
to the left of a man

and the rubbery thing inside quivers

familiar.  Raise your hand
if you know how to do this.

If enough hair fails to escape
the pull of a drain and the drain

sputters and fails to swallow water
we will likely say it's broken. 

Waves.  Traffic lights.

The craven infantry
of roaches at the flick of a switch.

Will--A child in a shrinking living room
sitting more still than the father.


Feeling a little broken myself today.  I think that's why this poem spoke to me.  The list of things that don't work.  Snap.  Fail.  Give up.  I appreciate not feeling alone is my contemplation of failure.

I was supposed to finish grading my students' midterm exams by class time this afternoon.  Didn't happen.  That makes me feel like a loser as an instructor.  I was supposed to rewrite some of the manuscript I finished last week.  Didn't happen.  In fact, out of the ten things I set out to do today, I only was able to check off three.

Just add Saint Marty to the list of things that break.

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