The Laundromat Essay

"I know the owner of the laundromat," reflects the narrator of this extended poem, "but can't remember his name (which could be for many reasons)." The poem is then swept up in narrative tangents and detours as the narrator, also nameless, tries to navigate the consequential absurdities of living in a city that is fracturing around him; he needs to get out of the city and back, through airports and restaurants and a whole city's worth of staircases, all in one night and without leaving the closed laundromat. As his narrative breaks up around him, he entertains distant relations, old friends, and a recurring cast of disguised animal characters, all of whom are misremembered and who participate in the construction of the narrative. He never does recall the laundromat owner's name. The Laundromat Essay is spiraling poem about the pathology of forgetting, a poetic narrative of credible absurdity and dazzling interest.