What the Exhaustion Does


It makes me post poems-not-my-own. I’m exhausted from teaching literature-on-repeat, among other things equally tiring. I’ll keep the remaining details off the radar for the moment (mostly so I don’t bore you).

Here’s a Robert Frank photo to tide you over (something of a lament just in time for the spring weather to leave us) until I can post something noteworthy, and an oft-recited poem from John Berryman’s Dream Songs. I used to do some photography, and Frank was one of my idols. I hope you enjoy the poem or the photo or the poem-photo or all of the above. Good night, yawn.

Dream Song 14

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.” I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as Achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

2 Responses to “What the Exhaustion Does”

  1. Lissa Says:
    November 20th, 2005 at 8:59 pm eI am exhausted, I am exhausted–
    Pillar of white in a blackout of knives.
    I am the magician’s girl who does not flinch.
    The villagers are untying their disguises, they are
    shaking hands.
    Whose is that long white box in the grove, what have
    they accomplished, why am I cold.

    “The Bee Meeting” — Plath

  2. jack brummet Says:
    November 23rd, 2005 at 7:45 am eAmy – I like your blog. I like your references. Keep it up! The Robert Frank photo was wonderful and anyone who prints a Dream Song gets a lot of love from me!

    Thank you!


Photography Poetry

AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

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