Greetings, fellow poets!
I understand that many of you enjoy my company, and those of you who do
not often find my company interesting.
I learn a great deal from you.
I learn more from the sounds underneath the desert, the sky over the
prairies, the way the shadows of the mountains cover the sun at two in the
afternoon, and the feel of the wind, desperate with rain, but incapable of
release, pounding against my face and flesh as I scream into it with the
small bit of fury afforded a man.
I am flattered that you feel I belong with you. You are probably
Still, I'd rather go looking for something bigger. It's not in L.A.
It's not in New York. I don't know where it is, and I don't reckon I'll
find it. But before you tell me it's not in Texas, why don't you come see
last night i
last night i dreamt of pretty things.
last night i dreamt of you
naked in a public place.
last night i dreamt of you naked.
last night i dreamt of stepping
off the bus and seeing you.
except you weren't naked, and
last night i stepped off the bus and saw some other woman.
an old woman who dressed like a rebel.
she was old and
tired and bitter and she was not you.
i looked into her eyes, and she
did not see me.
i recognized her.
but she did not recognize me.
but you were in the station.
you were in the station when i stepped
off the bus.
last night i stepped off the bus and saw a woman and then
i saw you.
you were not naked.
you saw me, and took off your
you saw me, and you took off your clothes, because humiliation
is no fun unless somebody's watching.
you saw me, and took off you
clothes in the bus station,
and we were there alone,
there were other people in the dream.
we bought weed from
we bought weed from them and sat on their couches.
we sat on
their couches and smoked weed and discussed the food in the vending
we smoked weed and ate the food from the vending
we ate food from the vending machines as though it were grape
we talked to the other people.
we made them laugh.
made us laugh.
they made us happy, and we made them happy.
last night i dreamt we were happy.
last night i dreamt we were
last night i dreamt that everyone was happy.
last night i
dreamt of billy pilgrim's tombstone,
an image plastered on my
and everything was beautiful,
and nothing hurt,
would never ever ever wake up,
We woke up in a strange cold place and you were still naked but the
people around us weren't happy, and they weren't laughing, and they didn't
give a shit about billy pilgrim or weed or kool-aid and all they wanted to
do was point at you and hate, and point and you and hate you and hate your
nakedness and hate your humiliation and hate you and tell you where you
stood in that strange, cold place
and tell you why you were there
and what you were there for
and why they wanted you there
and in that place, watching you naked, watching them point, and
watching their hate
that only one of us
only you or
would make it out of there
would live to tell about this
live to write another word
and i knew
that only i
was sober enough to decide
now, you are gone.
And here I am.
But I swear
I never wanted it to turn out like this
wanted it to end like this
I never had this in mind
and I swear
earnestly, desperately hope I am telling the truth.
The base unit of time on Mars
is the exact distance between a human apology and a human suicide
I could describe for you
way the Miami sun's heat
splays across my right cheek,
by some trick of particles and
simultaneously tickling the left side
of my belly.
Or I could go inside and have a good cry.
I don't think you're really listening anyway.
I'm sorry, what ?
You are upset because I haven't asked what?
You want me to ask you how you're doing?
For the past two months, I have survived
off the odor of your
I have sated my hunger by knowing you
were next to me in
I have dreamed your terror, over and over again,
your frail woman's body
under a man's hot hands
you seem to feel
you aren't getting an adequate
supply of my attention.
Maybe it's time I started doing more of the talking
I don't ask questions when I already know the answer.
On Romantics and Liars
The "confessional" school of poetry was made up
of two greats, both
of whom hated that term.
"I lie a lot," one said, in an attempt to refute her reputation of
And when a poet that great
admits to being a liar,
feels like the end of the world.
But if it was,
long time ago
Let me share something with you:
I don't care what
Helen looked like,
wars are not fought over the appearance of a
And Byron can say whatever he wants
place where you'd most like to stick
not qualify as truth.
all my friends say that i
myself too much.
that's true, but i have to focus on self-pity.
they get angry when i tell them
how much i pity them.
It's not as though I'm
To the aphrodisiacal properties
possible flavor of drug abuse
what is it about certain women
that makes them impossible to
the moment a single shot of whiskey
Of all the love poems you wrote for
my favorite is the imprint of your foot
upon my ass
I am sitting on the edge of the
where she last attempted suicide.
I would like to use the payphone, but it is on the second floor
stairwell, and someone is getting dumped via cellphone on the third floor
I would hate to intrude.
Quick word of advice to poets:
Avoid art communes.
Erie at all costs.
On Another Promise Broken
Yes, yes, I know, I'm a liar, and you're a bloodsucking souleating
vampire. Do these facts give you any moral satisfaction? 'Cause I get
I hate you for this.
I'll get you back, I swear.
Someday, I'll get you back for this.
I hate to break it to you,
but I've heard all that before.
while there's no doubt a great deal
I should be learning from that
you should really be learning
how tired these tactics are.
that you can't teach
He's a sweetheart, but in telling me
that Justin, as an
is not a real artist,
he inadvertently said the
Although more accomplished,
Wilson is younger than I.
I find it
hard to listen
to the wisdom of the young.
After all, I know so
Today, I read Michael's words.
He, too, says you can't teach
Yet Siddhartha learned
I am done with poets.
They have taught me nothing,
as they told
me to expect.
I will ask the mountains
If they know
at least I will
find a pretty place
One thing you saw
was bred for
I was built for war.
For a moment, it was a brilliant coup.
Sandwiched in bed between
Romeo and Tybalt,
secure in the knowledge
that you could have sex
eight times a
enemies caught totally by surprise—
when you make such drastic
changes to the script
unexpected is bound to occur
(though you should have known better
than to make them yourself).
That, and your
had no more chance of killing your Tybalt
than he did of
shitting golden bricks.
So now, here I am,
with two inept self-absorbed teenagers hurling
their fists at me for all their tiny souls are worth.
Trying to decide if there is any dignity left in
I liked the "very platonic" line while it was working.
choice, not an experience, mind you—
—a choice of convenience to ignore
that we are all giant fuckballs that would screw
not nailed down—
—but it was, despite the inherent and
But I don't care who you are
or are not fucking,
when you slash
your wrists to get a man's attention
you can't call the relationship
"very platonic" anymore.
watching your pale face and
mysteriously appearing ace
I was left with three options.
I could scream.
I could throw your sidekick out and sweep you into
I could leave.
Given the choices you left me with, you have no right to complain.
Really, Truly The End This
If you've read this far, you are almost certainly a poet.
No one but a poetry geek would even understand the title,
but the obsessive reader of poetry would
While only someone with an egomania to rival my own
would make it past the first page.
So if you are a poet, by now, you know this book is written
specifically, and directly, to you.
And it's easy to say specifically, whether we've ever met or
since you've all completely blurred together now, and I can no
longer tell a penpal from a fuckbuddy, a friend from a lover, a comrade
from an enemy, or a rapist from his victims.
So it's safe to say that if you've read this far, you have so
thoroughly invaded my psyche that any attempt to distinguish myself from
you would prove so futile as to be harmless.
usually I wish you
tonight I don't.
Not that it matters.
At some point,
either in this life or the next,
I have to decide
that I no longer find
the stupidity of others
A poet's lifestyle is not viable
and I learned long ago
suicide is not an escape.
Maybe it's time that the three of us began writing about something
bigger than ourselves, eh?