Poem from November 2001

Yahoo! Briefcase is closing its doors, so they tell me. I found this up in their cloud, thought I’d “immortalize” it here in this cloud. How is everybody?

I have the
nightmare
I keep showing
up late
to poetry readings
never getting
that chance
to expose
the best side of
myself

just a small crowd tonight
the lighting so bad I
can’t actually make out the words
nervously I spit out what makes no sense
make a mess of the whole
performance – a bad night
and I don’t
think
people care to believe it
that I have a good side
or care enough to see me
any which way at all
I see myself as
Dostoevsky’s gambler
these odds
go against me

I wind up
in the eatery basement
of a mall
at a table eating my
French fries
across from
the high school kids
never enough ketchup
knowing eyes
are on me
I see myself as
Dostoevsky’s tragic mouse
I see the reflection
embarrassed
thin face
the idiot glaze

“I should be home”
there I take good naps
“the television helps you to relax”

you ask if at least
I’m a vegetarian any more
yes, I answer
but there’s some people
I think I wanna kill

late Sunday night means
it might as well
be Monday morning
do you write your songs
on a porch?
eyes sore
wish again I could hear that
poem on NPR
torment and jack-hammered cement
cars fall in holes
survivors and non-survivors
walk into a store
even advertisements
taped to the floor
buy your damn turkey now

you can love intelligence
but I don’t always trust it
I think of a guy who
who cannot remember
my name after two years
but is warm hearted and sincere
I feel safer around him
than these other sly folks

trying to tell . . .
some things are funny
because simply on a comic value
they should be taken
at face value
because people are funny
just in the way
that they carry themselves
and that’s all
I drive the car
up the strip
from store to store
wearing out a craned neck
home is planted back up
on that little hill from off
the torn up street
in the morning we wake up
to what my head
feels like right now
my eyes should be bloodshot
I won’t wash the dishes
I won’t do simple things like this
it’s just too tiring and
probably I belong in yet another home
they can pad me down under
six blankets and I can
sleep myself off into the next life
with plenty of roulette tables
and I’ll be shot in the head
every night a few minutes after midnight

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