i wonder what is worse
sitting at this desk
and fielding questions from the dead
as children run around
wasting the best years of their lives
on video games
and virtual second lives,
or the years that i spent in the
hauling windows and doors in the buffalo cold
hauling cases of wine and scotch
for an overweight, micro-managing maniac
hauling used toys in a warehouse full
of black mold
pulling out paper clips for eight hours a day
while reading pieces of harold norse
on the shitter
xeroxing invoices, xeroxing receipts
in this squat, hellish building
trapped in the snow-covered suburbs
processing books and magazines
under ultra-violet lights.
murdering myself in so many places.
which has killed me more?
and my wife,
she writes me to say that she feels
i tell her it is the week at hand beating
on the both of us.
it is the summer heat and no vacation for a year,
the ominous fact that we are both
desk jockeying away our time to public service.
but i don’t know.
maybe it is something else,
some kind of trap we’ve both been shoved into
for forty-hours a week
for 50 weeks a year
for four walls and a roof
for a steady check and the occasional
for the same dead smiles the rest of them have.
maybe we’ve just come to expect
the runny shit aspects of life.
it hurts to read that she feels distant from me.
i feel like i want to save her
yet i’ve found no plausible way
to save myself.
so, therefore, i guess i’ve failed overall
in some respects.
and i am used to failure as a matter of course.
but in some other respects, i think
it’s only a matter of time
until i take her hand
and we drop out for sure to walk and hit the road
like whitman’s naked children
and i will laugh as she explains the sunset
and she will smile when i show her the sea
and no one will feel any disconnect
and no one will need a drink or ten minutes alone
to let the work day go
or to prepare the body for the impact
of the next.