by Baron Wormser*
Weakness—the pale succumbing to loneliness,
Refusing to admit anyone else, indulging
The blue perquisites of adolescence
Long past their sensible deliquescence.
He knew it but went on drinking and regretting,
Not calling his friends and regretting,
Making scenes over nothing and regretting.
It helped to make him despise himself,
Which was, he sensed, what he wanted. He was
Then, in his oblique way, at ease to wander
The city’s brazen or quiet streets, conjuring
Random lives and how the slim arc
Of emotion was pulverized. Back home, he put
On some Monk, lay down, half-cried.
“Melancholy” by Baron Wormser, from Scattered Chapters: New and Selected Poems. © Sarabande Books, 2008. Reprinted here with permission of the poet.
*Wormser has received the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry and the Kathryn A. Morton Prize along with fellowships from Bread Loaf, the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2000 he was writer in residence at the University of South Dakota. For eight years he led the Frost Place Seminar at the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.