Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Favorite Bullet Poems

My Favorite Bullet just accepted these. And although I know you all be checking them out for the other great poets in the upcoming issue, here's a peek at my poems.

dancing in the light

last night we were in the midtown bar
drunk on five-dollar drafts.
our favorite irish rock band was playing
from the stage
and people were dancing and hoisting pints
and you were dancing
and you were happy because i was dancing
but really i was only standing there
spinning you in circles.
then i looked over and saw the lead singer’s wife.
she was a cute blonde that we’d met
only moments ago,
and i thought about how you pointed out to me
that she was pregnant.
so i watched her for a bit, spinning you,
pretending to dance,
amazed at how she glowed that pregnant glow
people always talked about.
i liked the way she stared at her husband
on the stage,
moving, mouthing the words of his songs.
then i reeled you in and you kissed me.
our favorite irish rock band played a 1980s cover
and i pulled you closer, just to smell your hair.
and in that moment i got so lost in the lights
i got this itch for something more,
like my own immortality and yours too.
it made me want to touch your stomach
and hang on.
i thought maybe i’d talk to you about it
after the show.
but on the train i started thinking about money
and bad luck, the fates and ambition,
high cholesterol and bad blood and cancer
high blood pressure,
the cost of a new york minute, suicide in the family
and anything else you can imagine.
so i chose to say nothing
which was probably the right choice
because it was after midnight, we were tired,
you put your head on my shoulder to go to sleep,
and i always say the wrong thing
when i’ve been drinking anyway.


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
employment wilderness
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
we’re disconnected.
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
restaurant meal
for the same dead smiles the rest of them have.
maybe we’ve just come to expect
the runny shit aspects of life.

but still
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.

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