11 May 2010 | Vol. 10, No. 1

nothing better to do

the other night, i waited up

while the living room burned to ash.

i recalled the way a concussion feels

and how changes brand us.

the cushions on the couch smeared and singed when

i sat down, but this was hardly an interruption.


it was two in the morning

and you were drunk.

the walk home and the people

who sat outside the café

laughing sharply as needle-tips, their clothes wrinkled

so effortlessly.

the man on the corner bench twiddled

a straw between his teeth and the night.


when i sat down tonight, i moved the t.v.

right back in front of the fireplace and plugged myself

into it: the city is covered in aluminum foil.

people warn us everyday

about some undoing, some putting in

what will eventually come out, as though

we are not ourselves.

as though some other self is filling in,

waiting up however long.

About the author:

Cade Collum is the author of two chapbooks titled The Dogs of Havana (Red Hydra Press, 2008) and Lion-Froth Crown (Red Hydra Press, forthcoming). His poems have also appeared or are forthcoming in Vulcan and Ginosko. He received a B.A. in Psychology and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he is currently living and working as a full-time Instructor.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Cade Collum at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 10, No. 1, where "nothing better to do" ran on May 11, 2010. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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