The Viewer

It’s difficult to get news from the News.
Yet still he watches: whether to amuse
himself, or bolster his own static views,
or—feeling righteous—even just to lose
his temper (as his father did with booze),
he’s not sure, and no longer looks for clues.
Much like his car, his mind is set to CRUISE.

He tunes in every evening, mutely chews
his food, stares like the spectators at zoos,
and thinks, Oh well. I’ve worked hard, paid my dues.
Why try to fathom every stranger’s blues?
Though no one asks, most days he would refuse
to walk a mile, even in his own shoes.

Peter Vertacnik

Peter Vertacnik

Peter Vertacnik's poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in 32 Poems, The New Criterion, The Hopkins Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Water~Stone Review, among others. A finalist for the 2021 Donald Justice Poetry Prize, he currently attends The University of Florida.
Peter Vertacnik

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Author: Peter Vertacnik

Peter Vertacnik's poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in 32 Poems, The New Criterion, The Hopkins Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Water~Stone Review, among others. A finalist for the 2021 Donald Justice Poetry Prize, he currently attends The University of Florida.