Florilegium Archive · Papercuts and Scribbles

January 2021 – Anxious People

Poem insipred by Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

We really don't know more about children than tropical fish
and that was how this story ended up becoming a hostage drama

Obviously none of this has anything to do with you
Not even fairly happy people manage
to be happy the whole darn time

Older men rarely know what to say to younger men
as if older breaths were heavier

Drugs are a sort of dusk that grant us
the illusion that we're the ones who decide
when the light goes out
We lie to those we love
Full of caffeine-free coffee
gluten-free bread
alcohol-free beer
I'll interpret that as suggesting
that it's perfectly okay
to have a binary attitude to intelligence

I'm having quite a complicated day
anyone can nurture a myth
about their life
if they have enough manure
If phobias were logical and plausible
they wouldn't be called phobias

They're not the captives here. I am.

You're about as sharp
as a wet box of cornflakes
trying to teach a toaster how to read
I buy distance from other people;
most people never become individuals to us

Entirely alone in every emotion
some people accept that they will never
be free of their anxiety
what we think stories are about
often isn't what they're about at all
People who've never seen a pistol
before simply take it for granted

This is 'the crapping rabbit'
emotion in his feet
that emotionally challenged old fart
like a self-help book, only in reverse
You can understand someone
without necessarily agreeing with them

The truth is hardly ever as complicated
as we think
there's more love in the world
than the opposite

You end up marrying the one you don't understand
then you spend the rest of your life trying
he was my echo
she's my everything
the hardest thing about death is the grammar

Empathy is like vertigo

It wasn't your fault
we're more than the mistakes we made yesterday
when this day is over and the night takes us
allow yourself a deep breath

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