In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This month, Kaveh Akbar is on the line.
I am at a point in my life where I have very little structure, where every day is full of small decisions and every move feels like a long shot. I am in the process of beating an addiction (I hope), but this means that I am fully sober, grounded, and often a very raw kind of awake for every long minute of the day, however brilliant, brutal, or just plain boring it is. Do you have a poem that could quiet my mind or offer me clarity?
I remember so clearly the early days of sobriety. I’d stare at my watch willing the time to pass faster, only to see, like in those old high school movies, the second hand seemingly move backward. When your whole life is predicated on feeding your addiction, and then you remove that addiction entirely, you’re suddenly faced with a lot of life. A lot of hours, minutes, seconds. It’s one of the reasons I got so into poetry; it was literally just a place to put myself. I could read a book of poems and not worry about what to do with my body or my mind for an hour, two hours. I could write a poem and somehow make four or six or eight hours just fly by. Read More