Essays on Idleness

Animal Idleness
The cat’s jaw breaks awake inside this house dark with humidity.


Anxious Idleness
Those birds always sound so beautifully useless.


Audible Idleness
Morning wanes when the first word emerges.


Autumn Idleness
A sudden flood of thunder, or a squirrel runs across the metal roof.


Barney Idleness
Singing with his soft, purple mouth, What would I do / without my teeth, I wonder what he would do.


Cheese-Grater Idleness
I should look at you before I look through you.


Choking-Hazard Idleness
Must bite into my food to taste it.


College Idleness
I’m still trying to make this window a calm, cloudy square.


Conversational Idleness
“I can’t remember what I’m saying,” you say.


Culinary Idleness
Whenever the microwave’s rotating tray derails, it feels like my life’s approaching its abrupt end.


Decorative Idleness
A quilt can be hung on any wall, like this.


Definitive Idleness
The grayer the sky, the greener the tree, the greener the tree, the grayer the sky.


Domestic Idleness
My cat looks up at me like she doesn’t know what a poem is.


Evidential Idleness
Illustration: I walk to the stairs so I can walk on them.


Excited Idleness
Infomercial: only ten minutes left.


Fabled Idleness
The moral, of course, is a horse at the pet store.


Hospital Idleness
She slowly tried the stairs that tried to slow her.


Hotel Idleness
While I read the plum-colored curtains’ folds, the parking lot fills with rhetoric.


Ideological Idleness
This is a drawing to prove that clouds still exist.


Ill-Advised Idleness
Under the obvious weather, obviously under the weather, under the oblivious weather, obliviously under the weather.


Insomniac Idleness
Lately I’ve been watching a single ant’s speck crawl outlines on the wall, lit by the room’s only lamp.


Interrupted Idleness
I trust the mail will soon appear in my mailbox, so I listen.


Kitchen Idleness
A thin sheet of Brussels sprouts’ leaves lying left over in the sink.


Layered Idleness
A mind to thank the mind that thinks to thank the word for a word we do not see.


Lucky Idleness
For example, earlier this evening, when the phone rang, I just let it ring.


Morning Idleness
Sprinkling oats over my yogurt, I hope this one life stays about average.


Observational Idleness
The land moves under the weather and the weather moves over the land.


One-Way Idleness
I spoke with him the other day, by which I mean he spoke to me.


Parental Idleness
The black plum we pass between us, spilled juice the grass gladly absorbs.


Parental Idleness (2)
We killed the morning watching cat videos.


Pastoral Idleness
The field a field I’m standing in.


Patio Idleness
The dog pisses into Buddha’s open palm.


Permanent Idleness
If you prefer, pretend this isn’t happening.


Radio Idleness
This is your island of sanity. (Thanks for listening.)


Reflective Idleness
I say my name into a mirror, watching myself watch myself.


Remembered Idleness
I reach for the pencil behind my ear, but it’s not there.


River Idleness
The field stretches like an endless trampoline.


Road-Trip Idleness
“Are you hungry?” “No, are you hungry?” “No.”


Scenic Idleness
Fog pressed between the flexing remainder of trees.


Sexual Idleness
What the slick slice of raw sweet potato means to you, and to me.


Suburban Idleness
An ad from inside a newspaper rides the air across a residential street.


Terrified Idleness
All over the wet morning lawn, bamboo shoots had sprouted loudly overnight, already knee high.


Textured Idleness
Just a bit of hamburger dropped hot onto the carpet.


Transitory Idleness
The hope that a bus will soon be here.


Unabashed Idleness
There is no apology here, and there is no apology there.