a raw version of this poem bombed in front of a room full of poets
and librarians. i feel surprisingly comforted by that notion:
you like walking on an empty street
and all you can talk about is death lately.
death, death, death.
it’s like you’re obsessed with it.
and quit saying it’s the chest pains.
the doctor told you that it was gas.
it’s not cancer.
it’s not a heart attack.
you just need to take a shit, that’s all.
but for you it’s death.
pointless, poetic death.
you can’t rectify the past and the present.
you wish you were fourteen again
but you always tell everyone that you had
a miserable childhood.
look at you, you’re thirty-five
and everything is killing you.
you have no clue how young you really are.
and on top of it you’re vain.
you spend more time in front of a mirror
than a woman does.
am i too fat?
you tell everyone about your man boobs
and your love handles.
no one cares.
you keep making your wife compare you
to every fat man on the street.
do i look like him?
am i as fat as him?
jesus christ, isn’t it enough that she thinks
you look good?
that she thinks you’re sexy?
no, you want nineteen year-old girls to look at you.
well, buddy, nineteen year-old girls don’t know
that you’re alive.
pizza is killing you.
the football season is killing you.
red meat is killing you.
but you won’t become a vegetarian
vegetarians aren’t real men, you say.
where’d you come up
with that archaic, john wayne horseshit?
take a yoga class
and get over yourself.
that’s all you’re good for these days.
you used to be a hell of a lot more fun.