How to Do Nothing

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How to Do Nothing

First you must wash the window to observe more clearly
the dandelion seed heads bobbing in the wind. Next,

announce on Facebook and Twitter that you will be offline
for the next two days, if not forever. Heat water for tea.

Remember the bill you forgot to pay, and then cleanse
your mind of all regret. Consider industrial solvents

and the smoothness of sand-scoured stone, the miracle
of erasure. Eliminate all thought, but remember

the water. Hitch a ride on a Miles Davis solo and float
away on a raft of bluesy notes and lions’ teeth,

and wonder how to sabotage your neighbor’s leaf blower,
but nicely, of course. She’s a widow with a gun.

Now it is time to empty yourself. Close your eyes.
Become a single drop of dew on a constellation of petals.

Evaporate, share the bliss. Stuff that dog’s bark
into a lock box alongside the tapping at the door,

the phone’s vibration, the neighbor’s rumbling bass,
and the nagging, forgotten something that won’t

solidify until three in the morning, keeping you awake.
But don’t ignore the whistling. You must steep the tea.

* * *

“How to Do Nothing” was published in Volume 4 of Steel Toe Review.

steel toe

43 thoughts on “How to Do Nothing

  1. Very nice capture,
    You obviously weren’t doing nothing in this case – and in this piece.
    A lot of work letting go – and ultimately remembering to steep the tea,
    Great ironies.
    Especially if there’s still ironing left to be done.

    Ha.

    Randy

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the floating sense of this piece, and how the structure nonetheless makes itself felt — the tea keeps reappearing, for instance. Reading the poem is so like experiencing what it describes… An impressive piece of nothing, Sir Poet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Hitch a ride on a Miles Davis solo and float
    away on a raft of bluesy notes and lions’ teeth,

    and wonder how to sabotage your neighbor’s leaf blower,
    but nicely, of course. She’s a widow with a gun.”

    Absolutely grand! Equal to even Scarecrow and that is quite an accomplishment!

    It fills this room with the joy of finding perfect poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: How to Do Nothing — O at the Edges – judithabarrett

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