In another life I might have the time and inclination to stand up to Koethe's daunting allusions, but after attempting , more than once, to overcome the skim, the glance and the cursory read and engage the poems, I became listless and depressed; it was like one of those odd moments of hackneyed existential literature where the hero, me, is alone in some government office waiting my turn to speak to an official about something and discovering that I couldn't understand a word that was being said. Worse yet, though, was the fact that didn't care what anyone was talking about. A book of poems that creates torpor and apathy, the urge to crawl back into bed with pretend flu symptoms, does not encourage a recommendation. Maybe I'm just stupid. Or maybe that these poems really are that dull and dulling. I maybe be wrong. It's likely I have suffered a failure of the imagination. Or is it just as likely that John Koethe failed to convince me that his prosaic ruminations are interesting?