Under a Wrong Constellation


by Mark Danowsky


The dog is limping. Favoring his left hind leg; moreover, a display

of lameness in the right.


One of my bosses texts me after 8pm. Maybe he remembers I am

back from my trip. In any case, he wants my time. I have returned

from the trip sick. And the dog is unwell. And sadly it feels like

these are not the worst of my troubles.


I owe everyone I can think of something.


I’m supposed to move and find work back where I probably never

should have left.


Technically I make decisions. I was just reading about learned

helplessness and, although I have thought of “learned” in the

context of behavior or scholarly accomplishment in times past—it

seems to have found its current comfort.


Turns out the thoughts that pop / into the foreground of your mind /

are not necessarily those of most value / are not necessarily those

deserving of equal weight.


I hate that I accumulate things. I hate that I cannot get rid of them

once I have them. I hate myself for letting myself choose against

my intentions. This is not the paradox of choice. This is a paradox

of the ununified/irreconcilable self.


The dog has fallen asleep and is quietly yelping in dream. It feels

important to note his legs are not kicking. Sometimes they kick.

They certainly used to.