Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel

Character Sketch

I am no good.

No one knows it as well as I do.

Even the world I came into is not so good.

But I haven't done with it as well as I could.

When I talk, people are not improved.

When I talk, people are often less cheerful.

When people talk, I am often less cheerful.

When I succeed, it is on a matter which doesn't make much difference whether I succeed or fail.

I don't know how to insult people: my best insults are under my breath.

I get ordinary ailments.

I think of being distinguished, but I get afraid.

I am a scatterbrain.

Even on the subject of why I am no good, it seems I am a scatterbrain.

Having too much good will, and for too many people, scares me completely.

I am foolish in unknown ways.

My mistakes are monotonous.

I can be bored at the drop of a hat,

And I can bore a person at the drop of a glove.

Poetry has no steady friend in me.

The Renaissance is so far off, it seems like dim water.

I don't know whom I'm talking to, so I talk.

I am a hodge-podge,

And I feel safe because I am a hodge-podge,

But so dissatisfied—

And also so lazy, and so afraid.