Sacra-Mental Health Break Poetry

Metabolizing the angst and "acedia" of today

I learned a new word last week, and it just about perfectly sums up what I’m feeling today. The word is “acedia” — a lost word that was much used in the 5th century — and it represents “a strange combination of listlessness, undirected anxiety, and inability to concentrate.”

While my anxiety this morning is quite a bit more directed than undirected, it’s still a great summation of the spirit of the day. I need something meaningful to do with the overwhelming uncertainty and agitation in my system. Creativity is always a strong move for me in a moment like this, but I also felt a need for some destruction. Many years ago I started doing a sort of redaction / cut-up type of poetic practice, where I basically destroy a piece of writing, redacting most of the words, leaving behind a few which become a poem.

Here’s a video showing the process. The resulting short poem is below.

“November 4, 2020”

Choice between ideals
a better outcome

Imagine an animal informed
that the boss should violate the ideals
in the first place.

Less humane.

A problem:
believe the state
wellbeing of the wealthy
a two-party Faustian pact
shore up the poverty of the Right
someone regressive
lending support to the evils
unacceptable ideals

Integrity, not at all.

At least you perform choices.