Thursday, June 16, 2011


Too many days off from a job we other wise claim is killing us by the inch is not good for us, which is to say that it's not good for me, white, single, late fifties in age, without a car, a person who lives alone. Sans the work regime, it is up to my own ingenuity to endeavor to be happy and usefully whole; after a period of writing, playing music and reading the required number of pages in whatever books I have going at the time, I run out of things. As I heard someone remark years ago on the subject of having too much spare time, he felt compelled to "go upstairs and visit his problems, his issues, his collected constant worries." Likewise, I go from being eager to being anxious, the apartment I live in seems smaller than it actually is, a palpable paranoia surrounds me like a bad aroma . And so I turn off the computer and head out to accomplish newly appointed tasks. Fresh air, a conversation is what this fevered brow requires: there must be a music other than the static that plays on between my ears.    

It's all you can do
to stay in the moment
as the slices of salmon
catch flies on the cutting board,

someone is smoking
a cigar is what you're thinking
and what they're drinking
is a foul aroma of fun

every turn of the head is
an anxiety you ignored
and now that you're bored
with the dust of your confessions,
new lessons arise and
this makes you twitch like
some useless appendage
that sticks out of the end
of a thick wrap of bandages,

unbound and defenseless
for all that freedom
means on the fourth of July,

all that you can stand
because nothing
fills your days the way
the events of your life used to,

every word and slap on the back
falls with a thud,
something dropped on
old pillows,

the world smells of
sickening sweet medicine
and windows that haven't
been open for weeks,

take this shit to the streets,
you think, give me some air
and socks to wear before me
find my jacket and shoes

every car that passes
and every house you paint
has something of the vibe
going on inside
you can't seem to grasp
or get next to

there are days when
there are only empty swimming pools
in rich neighborhoods,

disc jockeys ignore
all your phone calls,

even the fish in the bowl
swim upside down
pretending to be asleep
until you walk from the room,

there is something you
just missed,
some card hand or punch line that gets swallowed
just before you get there,

just before you get
in step with
the dance and the
thread of the carpet
that gets walked upon.

1 comment:

  1. Maxwell Bodenheim7:31 PM PDT

    "There are days when
    there are only empty swimming pools
    in rich neighborhoods" -- That's it! The American portrait, 2011. And the suck and gurgle of the drain is the new national anthem...


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