Thursday, December 17, 2009

Land & Airscapes of Ernest Hilbert...

The Envelope, Please

Thank you, oh, thank you (hold up statuette)

Thank you (breathe) so much. This is just too much.

I couldn’t have done it without the drugs . . .

And the booze. It took a whole lot of sweat

And tears. Mostly sweat. It’s such

A huge, huge honor to be here. It sort of bugs

Me that it took so long, but here I am.

I’d also like to thank the drugs. Wait, did

I say that already? Okay. The booze?

Right. Well, man (sob), I had fun (slam

Award on podium), and they were really good

Drugs. I’d also like to thank (ignore cues)

Fans, friends, you at home, dealers, mom and dad,

But most of all I’d like to (cut to car ad).

Diary of a Sex-Starved Communist

Something churns me from sleep.

I float and circle in a clogged toilet

Of 2AM and a pile of notices.

I watch streetlights click white and buzz.

Turned out of my lumpen mattress,

I wander bleak square footage.

Each step creaks like a bent hull.

A mass moves, so huge, we can’t see it,

Only feel it tug us against ourselves.

Too much coffee, just enough grief,

Or not enough, hard to figure.

I know how the world works, or did.

It labors to a time when we’re equal

And love each other in turn as family

Should but never seems to.

Piles of pamphlets and books drag me

Along like hooks in my skull.

This evening I wonder what do I give?

A good man against tyrants, a tyrant

Against time, I sit at the window

To watch pearled remains of clouds

Bank desperately against a crowded moon.

The Day He Became Omnipotent

While Trying to Read at the Airport

First I sought those

I despised on sight

And destroyed them.

Then I sought those

I wished merely to spare

(So few seemed worthy),

The quiet woman

Reading a good book,

Smiling boy at the coffee stand.

I spared no one.


For Andrew Hallman

The sunset took hours to drain off and left

The sky an ocean of azure and ash.

The prehistoric van, heaving with books,

Sputtered out of gas on thirteenth. I laughed,

Got out, smoked, looked around. A siren flashed,

But the cop sped past. Others threw looks

But then cruised slowly on. The city warmed

In the electric haze of spring; couples

Sauntered by, unaware of my jam—I had rolled

In front of a hydrant. Life grew loud and swarmed

From all sides. Time adds trouble to troubles.

Music erupted from a dark bar door. I strolled

Across the intersection for a quick one,

As they say, to stay the long, ruthless run.

Other booksellers will know this feller immediately. That cheerful, talkative dude from Bauman's Rare Books that is so often at book fairs. Ernie is somewhat the lit-star lately. A very satisfying collection, Sixty Sonnets, is out in book form. I also have the collector's edition of the Sixty Sonnets beer bottle, but it is not for sale. What was that you say? How much? Perhaps we're getting close...tempting, but perhaps you can find your own bottle here:

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