-by Seth Howard

I withdrew from the world for a while

All my things were gathered here

Before my feet

Scattered as my many strange belongings

I knew no rest from my own clutter


Perhaps no one had noticed my withdrawal

From society, only quick trips to the

Convenience store was all they saw of me

Before I was back to that shrouded

World of shadow, my room

With the blinds closed during the day

And at night, the lights off

Perhaps only the dim glow of a laptop screen


Nengajyo lay pell-mell across my floor

Blank, unstamped, but all the same

It could be that I would never send them out

Or that New Year’s had already past

And that my loves were too far away 


That wonderful time of the night was coming

When one could drift into the sleepy dreamlike

State of one who drinks too little caffeine

And too much alcohol, beer cans stacked

Outside on the patio, where the cold air

Of winter chills them with its icy touch


I lay back against the bed, I am sitting on the floor

There is poetry in the air, and in the darkness

A strange sweet feeling of happiness pervades

My spirit, and I can hear the Chinese girl
Next door talking on the phone for what seems

Like hours, perhaps she will never stop 


But I am too far away now to wonder

The night has filled me with its gloom

And a sadness, that can only be felt by

One who must give up everything    


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