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: