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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact poem-a-day@poets.org.

The Runaround

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, May 24, 2017.
About this Poem 

“The first four lines of this poem popped up on my computer screen. They made me think about identity and agency. The ‘blips’ are electrons in a circuit, but they’re people too.”
—Rae Armantrout

The Runaround

    1

We encountered a problem

sending
a command

to the program.

Did I say that
aloud?

I’ve broken out
in imps.


     *

To be a blip
in a circuit

and to know it,
to relish

this knowledge
in your private

moments
as all moments

are gated
and switched.


    2

When I mentioned hatred
I was not thinking

                                           of you,

but you’d best not break
our momentum,

the thrill we get
from our own self-
loathing,

that guilty snigger
running round the room
 

Copyright © 2017 by Rae Armantrout. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Rae Armantrout. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

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