I watch YouTube—
instead of watching
painted skies, trying to mimic
brushstroke for stroke
the finger whorls of gods
smearing burning clouds across
and down into lakes.

people dress like cows,
screaming at fainting goats.

I watch YouTube—
instead of watching
my dog chase butterflies
in his sleep. Feet flicking,
kicking as he smiles
through black and white fields
where tiny flower-drinking
insects are the only color
he can see.

girls paint themselves
with words, and flash flesh
better, faster, stronger.

I watch YouTube—
instead of watching
the canary talking to me.
Gasping and choking,
his yellow feathers fading
as he dies, a byproduct
of sensitivity.

words are wrenched
and retooled, hammered into
lips to be sung again.

I watch YouTube—
instead of watching
the last breath escape my lungs,
ectoplasm like smoke, photographed
in darkness, and probably fake.
But I’ll never know.

twin rainbows swim overhead,
quivering voice filming—
oh my god, oh my god.


5 responses to “Sloth”

  1. I can relate to this! I have been captivated by social media since this pandemic began, and will watch whatever as though it matters. It is like a gateway drug, where the mind can be lured and dulled into anything. I do still love the fainting goats, though…

    1. I wrote this long before the current state of the world, and it hadn’t really clicked with how relevant it is now. It’s easy to get caught in the virtual world, and I think that’s the real danger. There’s nothing inherently wrong with watching videos, social media, etc., but it’s important to be aware of the present. An interesting dichotomy.

  2. Great. So reminds me of people going to concerts and watching it through their phone instead of the stage. We’re getting further and further away from our physical reality. Soon it’ll all be mostly virtual.

    1. And there’s nothing really wrong with that, but it is important to remember that there is a world that exists out there. That interaction can take place in both, but it’s good to be invested in the now.

      1. You’re right. That’s a great understanding of both realities.

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