on the page magazine
issue no. 13 summer/fall 2006
unfinished business


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 an MFA student in Boise, Idaho. His work has appeared in AGNI and the New York Quarterly. His poems "Fox" and Macho have appeared in previous issues of On the Page.

Ed. note: "Sulking as a Spectator Sport" first appeared in our summer 2003 issue.

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