Saturday 3 August 2019


by Joan Mazza

When my interest flags, when everything I do
seems useless as an absurd collection of dust
to disperse in a different room, repetitive
as falling catkins with clouds of pollen
to be vacuumed again and again

I remind myself I have endurance, know
how to stay with the boring stuff, the hard
stuff, effort without outcome—perhaps
forever. I tell myself I’ll get through, will
find a way to do the hard revisions,

complicated submissions to poetry markets
as if my little blip of life in the universe
means something. I catalogue my entries
in Bento, beloved database, check off
my chores on a paper list, change my sheets,

remember I’ve always persevered through
fear, as did all my ancestors who survived.
I hang in, chin up for as long as I have. I may
be only a blip, but I push to spike a little higher
than yesterday on my secret graph.

* * * * *

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist and psychotherapist, and has taught workshops nationally with a focus on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she writes a daily poem and is at work on a memoir.

1 comment:

  1. You pushed that spike right up into my heart with this one, Joan!