David Ly Literature Poetry

Ways to Deal with Worry

1.  Write what you worry about on sticky notes.
     Throw them on the ground and draw a circle of water around them.
     Sprinkle salt onto the circle to light it on fire.

2.  Start by texting, “I’m worried that…” in a message to yourself.
     Think about how sweet pecan pie is, and allow autofill
     to complete your text. You’ll know it’s finished when you realize
     you’re craving dessert.

3.  Leave a bottle outside during a storm
     and see how much lightning you can catch. When it’s just about full,
     take a sip. If you’re still thirsty, move on to #9.

4.  Uninstall Twitter.

5.  Actually, just throw your phone into the circle along with the sticky note.

6.  Put on Our Planet and listen to David Attenborough explain
     how sea grass absorbs carbon dioxide to counteract the warming
     of shallow seas, and then sulk about the death of the Earth.
     Focus on how pretty giant kelp forests are.

7.  Lay in bed and listen to Greta Svabo Bech; how she pulls poetry
    set to Ludovico Einaudi’s “Experience” and wonder
    about how you could work into a poem.

8.  Finally give your healing crystals the bathe in moonlight
     they haven’t received since you bought them on sale, two years ago.
     Think about how the crystals haven’t made you feel better before.

9.  Drink some water to see if it helps.
     If you find that you’re thirsty still, go back and try #1 again.

10. Make a list of ten random points over the course of two weeks
      to get your mind off of the constant worry you feel for no apparent reason.


David Ly is the author of Mythical Man, which was shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Poetry Award. His sophomore poetry collection, Dream of Me as Water, is forthcoming in 2022. David is the Poetry Editor at This Magazine, part of the Anstruther Press Editorial Collective, and a Poetry Manuscript Consultant with The Writers’ Studio at SFU.