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A Poem About Modern Life — We Are Something More and Something Less

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we are something more and something less

This poem encompasses my experience in the white-collar working world.

Of working until your eyes bleed and then working some more.

It is a poem about modern life and the life that came before, of what we have gained and what we have lost, and in it, I wonder if things are better, today, or if they are worse.

I do not find an answer.

“We Are Something More and Something Less” first appeared in Déraciné in Volume I under the title “We Are” — you can read the issue in its entirety here for free.

We Are Something More and Something Less — A Poem About Modern Life

I

Get to this point in my day

Where my mind goes

Blank

Where my thoughts run like

Crisco

Where everything is

Encased

Where my eyes won’t focus, won’t focus, won’t

Focus

Focus on the screen

And I hesitate over

The last few words

And my boss

Black tie in his hands

Says

“Push through it.”

“Get the hours.”

“Put a stamp on it and call it a day.”

“If you can.”

If you can …

I wonder if my

Ancestors

Got to this point in their day

Where their iron ran

Crimson

With the blood of

Holy men

If their thoughts moved like

Melted tallow from the firstlings

And their eyes wouldn’t

Quite

Focus

Focus on the crushed skulls of the

Monks they’d raped

I wonder if

When the violence was done

And they hesitated over

The last

Begging thrall

If their jarl told them

With entrails in his hands

“Push through it.”

“Throw him into the sea.”

“Put a stamp on it and call it a day.”

“If you can.”

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Adam Fout

I'm an addiction / recovery / mental health blogger and a speculative fiction / nonfiction writer. I have a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Professional and Technical Communication. I'm a graduate of the 2020 Odyssey Writing Workshop. I'm a regular contributor to Recovery Today Magazine, and I've been featured on numerous recovery podcasts. I have personal experience with addiction and mental health. I have Substance Use Disorder (SUB), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bipolar II, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), and Binge Eating Disorder (BED), among others. I have been in numerous drug rehabs, detoxes, and mental institutions, so I understand from personal experience how the mental health system works. I have been published in numerous literary magazines, including December, J Journal, and Flash Fiction Online, among others. I LOVE when readers reach out to me! Always feel free to send me an email at awfout at gmail dot com. I can't wait to hear from you!