The Latency

That the new thing now?

fallout and failure and fuck you, anyway

where the fuck am I supposed
to start? it’s long
past midnight and
whatever’s going to happen
probably
already has

so whatever we’re doing
right now
has already been done over and over
again by
some prick asshole that we
have to
pretend to like

it’s not like we know
what’s
happening
anywhere
at all
ever
right now; we’ve
lost equilibrium

somewhere

and getting it back involves a hatchet and
a thicket and a suicide or two

so the hell
with it

make your noise
rattle your trees
while the things
are left

someone has to

just know that
your blood
is next

your friends
are next

and your complacency
and the strength you gather
from the protests you mount
is already gone

any use

when we were in the city with that friend of mine
who I have to remember not to introduce to any more
female friends
because they invariably fall
you have no idea how jealous
you made me

for some reason I always imagine that
around him I am less than adequate
and god help me if I don’t feel that way
even right now thinking about him
he always says I’m the one with all the talent
but mine hide beneath layers of benediction
and his are evident at first glance

whether posterity calls
I’m not sure
but I know that
momentarily
he usually wins
unless I’m well in the game
and I was most assuredly not

but anyway when we were in the city
with that good friend of mine
you kept calling him babe
and I know it doesn’t matter much
but I just wanted to tell you how
honored I would have been
if you’d ever called me babe
on our little vacation
there

(1998)

zitcrit mavens

four beers and two ciders
on that I can make a night of it
rather an unhealthy night, I’ll admit
but health is just another choice
and maybe tonight I’ll swoop up into air
but I might still descend to calamity

I can defend myself
defend my inaction
to those who aren’t here

can lay attempts atop their altars
and make squirms in the sand
around them

can stand my insurrection
be happy at the flow
can carry myself beyond this room
this night
and make some connection that I wouldn’t
have otherwise banked on
with love for everything
but just for a second

(1996)

hard quarter

dear God come the lights
shifting on
some dumb SOB on a street somewhere
freezing
feeling much like me

some dumb SOB sitting alone
with slow death a comfort
and a crutch
not so cheerful now
not so cheerful as usual
now
knowing that the ticket
in my wallet
will go unused

(1996)

moll

they’ve come
in so many ways
to my small doorstep
have set up their camps
silently
unbeknownst to me
reeling under the yoke of moil

wanting only to get in the door
turn on the stereo
have a beer
I am instead tripped up by them
these people at my door

wanting to have a drink
see a movie
get a coffee
shoot the shit
whatever

it has gotten burdensome
I used to bask in such adulation

no
longer
I am tired
of living for
and through
others

give me this seat
these keys
this music
this smoke

take
away
your weariness

leave me
to my own

(1997)

played

so early that the windows
are bleached
with light

so early that the hour
is tired of itself

so early that the clocks
have gone to sleep

I am sitting here in the hove
extrapolating
soon I will go and masturbate
while thinking of a girl
who is not my
girlfriend
think of coming inside her
think of her moans
finish
clean up
and fall asleep

utterly ashamed
of myself, this
I foretell, and know:
yet also I know that there
is no way to battle this impulse
when this cute young woman
is on my phone until four thirty
telling me how wonderful I am

how little
she knows

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