Sulking as a Spectator Sport
by Erik Leavitt
Today he tried to salvage
a poem from his youth,
something moody about love
and death and love again,
and again today he faltered,
like an arthritic old hound coaxed
to one last throw of the stick.
So instead he made a sandwich
from the last of tuna fish
and munched slowly over the garbage can
where it seems all he's ever wanted
was his smear of ink in some magazine,
a stool for one poem at the bar.
That's what he'll tell his kids one day
as they struggle toward the grand catalogues
of the things more exciting than his voice:
the stutter of corn in the pressure cooker,
sneakers kissing linoleum,
the blow dryer snarling their mother's hair.
Erik Leavitt is a graduate of Macalester College with degrees in English and classics. Currently he works as a night auditor in Duluth, Minnesota. His poems "Fox" and "His name is like a ham sandwich" appeared in the winter 2002–03 issue of On the Page.