in honor of Kris Collins' Birthday, I present an oldie but goodie:
poem made from a letter to kris collins
i found my old journal last night,
the one from december 1995 to july 1996,
while sifting through papers and looking for yet more
car forms because we have to sell another car.
so i found this journal which is completely interesting
and yet foreign to me
at the same time,
and the book is full of tales about going to the bbt
with you and angie
to see trbovich’s band play,
and drunk jesse wandering around
talking up his james joyce/sonic youth paper
and plans to graduate college
and all the goddamned women!
mary still bothering me four months
after we ended
and my obsession with cassandra reznik
and gretchen in art class
and greta with her famous name,
whom i spent a june night sitting
in schenley park with
amongst the bums.
and calvin and steve and bleary nights
in the city of youth.
and hell it reads like someone else wrote it now.
how could i be so full
and so full of it at the same time?
where goest the hunger that brought my words?
why tired and disillusioned?
why beaten to death now?
why is the best i can do, man, is feeling okay
because i can live to pay the bills
why has all of the writing i was
building myself up to create;
why has it come and come in droves,
but it still isn’t good enough for me?
kris, what is this ungodly age of thirty-eight?
and the papers tell me american life expectancy
is up to seventy-eight now.
like it’s a good thing.
like it isn’t another entry in another
journal that i have yet to write,
read forty-five years from now,
by someone i don’t know yet,
trying to recognize someone who maybe
didn’t exist in the first place.
or if he did,
it was only in pieces and in moments
that can never be grasped or held again,
once they’ve been chewed up
and left to rot in a yellowing notebook.