Our topic this month was to write about the most important thing we’ve learned this year in college. I’ve learned many
things, from trivial facts to life-defining truths, and I wanted to share what I do most instead of just telling you about it. So I wrote a poem, and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Among the numerous lessons of the year, that is one I take to heart: invest time in doing what you love.
Of ‘Wasting’ Time
Who am I, after class?
I’ve constructed a grand militia of facts
To protect my commander mind.
At the expense of sleep, I grasp the rasping
Brain stems of dead scholars.
Sewing disputed arguments into an opinionated collar,
So from the neck-up, I appear clothed enough
To have a future.
Yet more routinely so,
After the bell, the fluorescent glow
Drives me from Medical Anthropology
To crash on the couch not three feet out to sea
How many minutes can I meander
Before two hours before work flounders
and my planner bouncer
For this one persistent sitting,
gazing down at black speckle freckled dimples on the Memorial marble floor,
I could move.
Trade this tawdry quiet moment for a silken gown of obligation
Descend into the next hole
The next dated knoll
In drole academe but as it seems
I’m just not ready to sew my mind into its seams
As you walk by, you might insultingly gleam
I’m a mess in tattered dress,
out of place, out of pace.
I’ve no corset stitched of planner pages wrapped round my skin,
and in this culture obsessed with stress that just might be a sin
But even all of hell has room for all of this smile,
so assuredly it’ll fit all of your pissing contest bile.
Maybe that’s okay.
Pursuing your degree
Means negotiating degrees
Of anxiety and nudity.
Knowing your mind and body—
Before trapping it in costume
Freeing you from the act of
So I’m going to sit here,
Staring at the black freckled speckle dimples on the Memorial marble floor
Until I’ve had my fill
And I feel like getting all dressed up