Daily Archives: July 30, 2022

The Warm And Fusty Air

NOTE: I would just like to apologize for my absence for the last few days.  I’ve been a little under the weather and simultaneously very busy.  Not a good combination for a writer.  


It is a not-small thing, maybe just
a man-thing. I don’t even know
what that means, not anymore,
it may be wrong to say it, maybe
I’ve always been wrong and it’s
more of a white-thing or a consumer-
thing, a privilege-thing made
for Americans by Americans —
an agreement-thing, consensus
enforced by having grown up and 
made to live by immersion in its
warm and fusty air — 

that sense of competition
with whatever that is scurrying
behind you that is never there
or visible when you look back
to see what’s catching up,
the perpetual echo of shoes
dropping, doors shutting
back there you should have 
walked through instead of
plodding along this way,
forced through the warm
and fusty air — 

the sound of your weight
pushing past regrets into
this brainless way of being 
whatever you have become
today, now, being yourself
having come to mean 
unconscious respiration,
gasping in the warm and 
fusty air — 

where it’s always
the national anthem
on the stadium speakers and always
the same accurate deploring
of the lyrics by some
and always fighting immersion
in the vastness of the masses
who don’t care much
about the song
as long as what follows is
a good game or race, where always
the provocation to a fight
is present and part of the 
attraction, where it’s a 
man-thing or not, just
a human thing to be this
deep in the struggle to breathe
as one treads water, the fetid
water we have no choice 
but to struggle in as we struggle
to draw in what we need
from the warm and fusty air.