U is for Useless

21 U is for Useless.jpg


by Emma McFarland

4:00 at 168

Preteens stand arms akimbo – huffing,

circulating sly glances, coded

extra-text-ual meaning, posing

for each other as slyphs as glyphs as fates,

staring down grown commuters, sweating,

limping off the screaming trains – young eyes

meeting old defiantly, “No, I

don’t have anywhere else to be and, oh

fuck you and your ‘useless,’

motherfucker I’m usefree.

A poem surrounding the idea of ‘use’ and how we define use when we define it and how ‘useless’ is sort of a nonsense word because utility is just a capitalist notion meant to keep us all working. Hopefully it will be a sort of ode to uselessness and explore the freedom and possibilities that go with detaching from a personal definition of utility. Things that are useless: One sock, books in languages you can’t read, very smooth pebbles, souvenirs, crunchy fall leaves, houseplants, snowflakes, wildflowers.
— Emma McFarland, on inspiration for "Useless"

EMMA MCFARLAND is a writer and theatre artist currently living in New York City. Along with a thesis about Sophie Treadwell's forgotten plays, a play about climate change, and a play about a hardware store, Emma writes a weekly book review on Instagram. You can follow her @fivestarbookreview.