Regular Poem: Attention to Task

5 Apr

Ever since I heard it
it’s been sabotaging me.
I’ll paraphrase
so it can sabotage you, too:

“You’re happiest
when you’re
totally in the moment,
thinking only
about the task at hand,
no matter the task,
even if you hate the task
or it is a boring task.
Fantasies are unhelpful,
deleterious even
to mental well-being
and quality
of both work and play.
Science shows
day dreamers are sad,
disconnected
creatures.”

And it made so much sense
and was so maddening.

And now

(The other day I was cooking–
softening butter, measuring baking soda, turning on a lamp
so I could see if my dough was lumpy,
and there it was.
I thought of that jerk of a program on NPR
and then instead of immediately refocusing on the clumps of brown sugar
I immediately was daydreaming–
like not even a fun daydream,
just imagining myself in the grocery store, which aisles I needed to go down
to buy the items I needed
and I was so mad at that jerk of an NPR program
and that jerk of a me
for remembering it)

even in those acute, strange moments
when I am completely focused,
I jump in and out of them,
watch myself
heckle myself
curse the sabateur–
who is both that program
and myself.

And it’s so stupid.
I’ll day dream if I damn well please
but then again
is it damn well pleasing at all?
I don’t even know anymore.
I ought to go back to listening
to classic country in my car
instead of NPR.
I mean, either way
I’m listening to and thinking
about something other than driving.

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