Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Poems About Illness
Kaddish, Part I
by Allen Ginsberg
A Litany in Time of Plague
by Thomas Nashe
Afternoon at MacDowell
by Jane Kenyon
Against Elegies
by Marilyn Hacker
Auld Lang Syne
by Jennifer L. Knox
Beasts
by Carmen Giménez Smith
Bedside
by William Olsen
Breathing
by Josephine Dickinson
Christmas Away from Home
by Jane Kenyon
Cognitive Deficit Market
by Joshua Corey
Evening
by Gail Mazur
Everyone Gasps with Anxiety
by Jeni Olin
Having it Out with Melancholy
by Jane Kenyon
Her Body Like a Lantern Next to Me
by John Rybicki
Hospital Writing Workshop
by Rafael Campo
In Memory of W. B. Yeats
by W. H. Auden
Losing It
by Margaret Gibson
Mastectomy
by Wanda Coleman
Phases
by Michael Redhill
Prayer for Sleep
by Cheryl Dumesnil
R.I.P., My Love
by Tory Dent
Sick
by Shel Silverstein
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Nurse
by Michael Blumenthal
The Sick Child
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Sick Rose
by William Blake
The Subalterns
by Thomas Hardy
The Transparent Man
by Anthony Hecht
The Visit
by Jason Shinder
To Amy Lowell
by Eunice Tietjens
Tubes
by Donald Hall
Units
by Albert Goldbarth
Visits to St. Elizabeths
by Elizabeth Bishop
Waking in the Blue
by Robert Lowell
When I Consider How My Light Is Spent
by John Milton
Poems about Language
Avoid Adapting Other People's Negative Views
by Sharon Dolin
Etymological Dirge
by Heather McHugh
Having Words
by Alfred Corn
I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
Lines on Nonsense
by Eliza Lee Follen
Making It Up as You Go Along
by Bin Ramke
Onomatomania
by Thomas Lux
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
by Eryn Green
please advise stop [I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop]
by Rusty Morrison
Poem
by James Schuyler
Primitive State [excerpt]
by Anselm Berrigan
Reduction
by Page Starzinger
Series
by Geoffrey G. O'Brien
The Composition of the Text
by Adriano Spatola
The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart
by Jack Gilbert
The Long Hand Wishes It Was Used
by Jackie Clark
The Translator's Dilemma
by Ann Lauterbach
The World Seems…
by Gregory Orr
Time Study
by Marvin Bell
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve
by Adrienne Rich
Water Music
by Robert Creeley
What Is an Epigram?
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Yes
by Denise Duhamel
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Anxieties

 
by Donna Masini

It’s like ants
and more ants.

West, east
their little axes

hack and tease.
Your sins. Your back taxes.

This is your Etna,					
your senate						
											
of dread, at the axis					
of reason, your taxi					
					
to hell. You see
your past tense—

and next? A nest
of jittery ties.

You’re ill at ease,
at sea,

almost in-
sane.  You’ve eaten

your saints.  
You pray to your sins.

Even sex 
is no exit. 

Ah, you exist.  
About this poem:
"After finishing a novel, I was in that drifting place, scribbling, taking notes, slowly collecting drafts toward a new book I'm calling 4:30 Movie. Terrance Hayes suggested I try to write an 'anagram/word scramble' poem—a form he'd 'invented.' As with any form or prompt, sometimes it leads somewhere, sometimes not, but there's always a surprise, and my first attempt ended up in another poem: 'If you think in anagrams,/ parades and drapes, diapers, rape, despair and aspire/ all come out of paradise.' Depending upon mood or poem I give myself different formal conditions, but every line must end (and in some poems begin as well) with one of the words that comes out of the scramble. Sometimes I use this to 'warm up'—to play. Sometimes I try it when I'm anxious—hence the title of this one."

—Donna Masini






Copyright © 2014 by Donna Masini. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 21, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.