POETRY: My Amusing Despair by Scott Cairns

My Amusing Despair by Scott Cairns

I confess that I am not
a modern man. As a modern man
I am a little flawed.
Raimundo is much too happy.

Many times, more times
than I would care to admit to you,
I have suffered from this
unforgivable lack, this absence.

All around me, poets
tearing at their bright blouses, tearing
at their own bare flesh.
All night long—their tortured singing.

And still I have suffered
an acute lack of despair. Why is that?
Is Raimundo stupid?
Am I unfeeling? Doesn’t the bleak

weight of the north ever
pinch my shoulders? Well, no, not often.
And when it does—which is
not very often—I can’t help feeling

a little detached. As if
I had somewhere else to go. As if
I were a spectator,
a dayworker watching the slow clock.
I have an interest in the outcome,
but not a strong interest.

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