Cambridge Book Review

[Issue #6, Fall 2001]

Being Preoccupied

R. Virgil Ellis

must mean that someone else lives where I do.
It doesn't help if that someone else is me.
What am I going to say, "get out!" or "toodle-oo!"?
If I can be pre-occupied, let alone occupied,
then I must be some kind of house or office, or
even a fortress. John Donne wanted his besieged
and battered, but it looks like he was the only
occupant, so how much of a fight could he put up?
Besides he was demoralized and lonely
whereas there are quite a few of me
who say they belong, busy pre-occupying.
Being a post-modern lot they don't try
to claim possession (then I'd need an exorcist)
or even admit they're multiples of me,
so I can't get help via therapy.
Nobody I know wants to talk about this problem.
They all seem so preoccupied.
So I found a solution though I admit it isn't stellar.
I give my preoccupants a room at a time
and then nail planks over the door.
I love being alone down here in the cellar.

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