The Latency

That the new thing now?

note while micturating

little beige spider
hanging on the
bathroom wall

some would
smash you
into paste
without a
thought

well, some like
total war
and the
Olive Garden

and plates with
pictures of
the Popes
on them

and talking
about juices
and what new
program
they’ve just
started

and they can:
that’s cool,
okay

me and you, though,
let’s just hang
here

peaceful
and
assured

and keep an eye
on things

mold

went down to get a
six-pack at the bar
a little while
ago and
there was a huge
fat guy sitting
in the corner
on a stool
chirping to himself

big fleshy triangular
guy
sitting there
like a
mushroom
chirping away
among all the
town guys
and hairspray
chicks

I got my six
said words to
the bartender
paid
and walked toward the
door

as I pushed it open
I heard the mushroom
shriek “HEY! YOU KNOW WHO
LED THE PHILLIES IN
STEALS IN ’91?”
and I thought:
thank god for
home and for my
front door key
that works

there isn’t enough
booze in that bar
to make that guy
tolerable
and besides
I can’t stand
mushrooms:
sauteed, steamed,
or shrieking

once or twice, here and there

what it is
is
weight:
everything you do or
think
every part of you
has
an anchor
lashed to it

there’s no time to
consider what
might work best
or where you
might be most
useful

or whether or not it’s
time finally to
start thinking
about doing your own
thing
now that you’ve
tried everything else

there’s just weight
hanging on you
keeping your moves
constricted
to the next day
the next week
small steps that
don’t add up
to
anything of note
who cares about
your ideas? they’re vapor
tissue
ash piled high and
stinking
in
the rain

what matters is
your bus pass
the rent
the basic accoutrements of
basic life:
still
more
weight

you’re lying there
eyes open
in the dark
another day of
mild terror behind
you
finally

lying there
trying to
breathe

like Giles Corey
under the board

tails up

man, I said to the
cat, just look
at you,
you don’t do anything,
just lay
around scratching and
sighing and
following me to
the kitchen so
that you can get
even
fatter

you hairy little
mung fucker, I
said, you just lay
there
curled up and
snoring

occasionally your
ears twitch

and that’s going to be
about it,
too, I
said,
until later tonight
when I’m getting ready
for
bed
and you start mewling and
pawing the
window screen
and pacing
because you can smell all
the life out there
and you want to
end it

you want to strike
while the iron’s cold
and in between you
lay back
feed and scratch
and laze and
pay no
attention:
the world’s
just noise
coming through a
screen

now that I think
about it
that makes a lot
of sense

move over

friday the 13th

you wake up with
optimism
had a good dream
a funny
dream
about some random
person wanting you to be a
character witness
in their
tax
trial

up until three sending
out resumes
and cover letters
each one different
carefully crafted for that
particular job;
you’ve learned you shouldn’t
use boilerplate prose
you need a different letter
for each job
and you’re okay
with that

come out into the world
pour a coffee
thinking: okay, maybe
the light on the
phone
will be
blinking blue

maybe there’s already a
response and
it’s a good one

you’re not looking for
much: twenty hours a
week, maybe
three or four hundred
bucks
you’ve got plans for your
free time
you need more knowledge
and that’s okay
too

just need enough to
keep you in
hot dogs and
salad and
beer
for the summer

the rest will
take care of
itself

you sit down with the
coffee and the light
is blinking blue
and for a second you
start thinking wildly about
interviews and
questions and whether or
not your suit’s
clean

just for a second
until you pull up the
message:

no, thanks,
it says,
we’ve gone in
another direction

we wish you
the best

you slump back
against the couch
stare at the ceiling

weren’t things supposed to
be different now, after
all that time and
money?

you’re not looking for
a career yet
some place to spend eight years
getting more and more
entrenched

twenty hours a week
and a few hundred bucks

the windows are
open and you
sneeze
and then the rain starts
falling
and you think:
another day
another disappointment
not much money in
the account
and there are bills yet
to be paid

at least the
cat’s happy
lying there in the middle
of the
floor
twitching his
tail

the little
fucker

torture

I am in
a jar on
your coffee table and
you are watching
TLC

eat drink stare sleep repeat

I woke up today with
no particular plans
having
gotten through xmas in
one piece

thankful for
that, at
least

no screaming or
approbation
everything calm and
comfortable

came over to the couch
scratched the cat
behind the ears
turned on the stereo
sat down
waited

the sun came
through the narrow
windows

I had some pie
and a couple
of beers

at some point the
doorbell rang
I didn’t answer it

then it was night
it came on fast

now it’s almost morning
and I’m still
sitting here
scratching the
cat
behind the ears
listening to
it purr

waiting

reaction to every possible thing

shut the
fuck
up

pain in the swell

what I’ve mostly got
is the cat
staring at me

country music
and cans of beer

it’s three a.m.

what’d
I miss

every sunset

makes things cooler
for a bit
until it comes up

rising

and rewarms
the world again

you know
this

you don’t need
me to
tell you it’s
going to happen

it will

go outside
and see
it

the rest
is dust

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