I have lain in bed all day
but I have written one poem
and I am up now
looking out the window
and like a novelist might say
drunk: the clouds are coming at me
like scullery maids with dishpans
in their hands—
something that holds gritty dirty
but I am a drunken non-novelist
but in clear condition now
here sits the bottle of beer
and I am warmly thinking
in a kind of foam-shaped idle fancy
but all I can stoke up are
squares and circles which
do not fit; so
I will tell you the truth:
again (in bed)
I read another article on D. Thomas &
some day I will get lucky and sit around
and own a French horn and a tame eagle
and I will sit on the porch all day
a white porch always in the sun
one of those white porches with green
vines all around, and
I will read about Dylan and D.H. until
my eyes fall out of my head for eagle
meat and I will play the French horn
blind. but even now it gets darker
the evening thing into night
the bones down here
the stars up there
somebody rattling the springs in
Denver so another pewker can be born.
I think everything is a sheet of sun
and the best of everything
is myself walking through it
wondering about the pure nerve
of the life-thing going on:
after the jails the hospitals
the factories the good dogs
the brainless butterflies.
but now I am back at the window
there is an opera on the radio
and a woman sits in a chair to my left
saying over and over again:
BRATCH BRATSHT BRAATCHT!
and she is holding a book in her hand:
How to Learn Russian Easily.
but there is really nothing you can do
easily: live or die or accept fame
or money or defeat, it’s all hard.
the opera says this, the dead birds
the dead countries the dead loves
the man shot because somebody thought
it was an elk
the elk shot because somebody thought
it was an elk.
all the pure nerve of going on
this woman wanting to speak Russian
myself wanting to get drunk
but we need something to eat.
GRIND CAT GRIND MEAT says
the woman in Russian so I figure
she’s hungry, we haven’t eaten
in a couple of hours. CLAM
BAYONET TURKEY PORK
AND PORK she says, and I walk
over and put on my pants and
I am going out to get something.
the forests are far away and I am
no good with the bow and arrow
and somebody signs on the radio:
”farewell, foolish objects.”
and all I can do is walk into a grocery
store and pull out a wallet and hope
that it’s loaded. and this is
about how I waste my Sundays.
the rest of the week gets better
because there is somebody telling
me what to do
and although it seems madness
almost everybody is doing it
whatever it is.
so now if you will excuse me
(she is eating an orange now)
I will put on my shoes and shirt
and get out of here—it’ll
be better for
all of us.