top of page


He finds the whole thing 

The people there were 

Even the weird, patterned carpet looked 

A certain feeling filled that space that was simply 

What the old man mumbled in his sleep was 

The Filipino lady suffering over a hangnail smelled 

When a meth head sits next to him how can it not be even more 

Watching him pick at his skin was worse than 

Being in the library in the mall is 

on a good day, in a good neighborhood, but can be particularly 

when all around him is one after another reminder of just how 

everywhere can be once he’s started to see everything as 

He really didn’t intend this poem to be so 

But lately he’s been finding more and more things hopelessly 

Almost everything now strikes him as at least a little 

To the point that the few friends he has left finally just told him they find him 

Well, isn’t that


Philip Athans is the best-selling author of Annihilation and more than a dozen other fantasy and horror books, including The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook (, is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans. He is the founding partner of Athans & Associates Creative Consulting, and lives in the foothills of the Washington Cascades, east of Seattle.


bottom of page