(reading The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliott)

A poem doesn’t change anything.
It’s not E = mc².
It’s September. In these latitudes,
depression can spiral counterclockwise
into hurricane. In the eye
by contrast is greater stillness
than vacuum. At the end
of a poem, the sky calms and clears.
Birds return to branches.
A neighbor plays Vivaldi
on a cello. The birds
sing louder when he plays.

Previously published in DASH Literary Journal.

L.S. Bassen won the 2009 APP Drama Prize and a Mary Roberts Rinehart Fellowship and was a Finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award (2011). She is a reader for Electric Literature and a book reviewer for, the, press1, etc.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “Food (dark chocolate-covered graham crackers — Why did Nabisco stop making ’em?!); object (Ginny dolls – looked like unsexualized little girls); and word (antidisestablishmentarism — it was a rite of passage to be able to spell that, fast — no kid had any idea about its reactionary political meaning).”