Sitting in an apartment without any furniture beyond that found on the street, I recall a favorite poem, struck at the suddenly narrow distance between (my) life and art. It goes like so:

March 22nd, 2014, 7pm

Back Home Again

This John Denver song comes back around

Like a semi around a cloverleaf intersection

This morning, as though circling slowly the potential lives

My father might have imagined for me,

None of which I am living—

He was thinking professional:

Me power-breakfasting with suits,

The peculiar brightness of our faces

Under 7 A.M. fluorescence.

He was thinking international:

Me flipping decisively through a briefcase

At an airport in Geneva, laughing

Self-consciously at my rusty French.

Perhaps he made the occasional compromise

Toward reality by thinking academic:

He taps down an arched, echoing hallway

With a conspicuously buffed floor

To the heavy door of my office,

Where I’m typing on a Corona,

Half-glasses severely bisecting my gaze,

Not pausing to look up from my essay

On thirteenth-century Chinese pictograms.

Surely he was not thinking of me

Wearing his old Jerry Jeff Walker shirt,

Blasting ghetto anthems

During yoga practice

In a house with no furniture.

  • Ann Humphreys

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Zach Hyman

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