American Life in Poetry

If you don’t know about it, please visit American Life in Poetry, which is a delightful weekly poetry selection curated by former poet laureate Ted Kooser. I have used these poems in class, though not systematically (though perhaps I should). You can visit the site directly, subscribe by email, and/or follow it on Facebook. They allow republication of the poems with attribution. In blogs past, I was fairly good about republishing them, but I can’t promise that I always will. Here is this week’s, with Ted’s pithy introduction.

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A poem whose subject needs no introduction! Melissa Balmain lives in New York State, and her most recent book is Walking in on People, from Able Muse Press.

Nightmare

Your TV cable’s on the fritz.
Your Xbox is corroded.
Your iPod sits in useless bits.
Your Game Boy just imploded.

Your cell phone? Static’s off the scale.
Your land line? Disconnected.
You’ve got no mail—E, junk or snail.
Your hard drive is infected.

So here you idle, dumb and blue,
with children, spouse and mother—
and wish you knew what people do
to entertain each other.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2014 by Melissa Balmain, “Nightmare,” from Walking in on People, (Able Muse Press, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of Melissa Balmain and Able Muse Press. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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