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The People in the Books I'm Reading


I'm at the computer with my wine

and there's a man outside my building calling

the name of someone he'll never see again

as the drunk poets send me messages 

telling me how they're sad

about their latest poems not getting 

enough likes and shares

and how they're sad about their unrecognized genius 

and their unreviewed books

one tells me of an old lover's suicide

as she spills wine across faded letters

another hasn't slept for days, says she's enslaved 

by the phases of the moon

Eddy's muse has skipped town and Jenny's scared 

about 30 days in rehab

Anna's stopped drinking and found god

she tells me this time for good

Frank's checking himself into the psych ward

and they took his dog away
Angry Face is mad because I haven't 

read his manuscript

and the people in the books I'm reading 

are all setting things on fire and committing suicide

it's a bad night all around and I can't 

do much for any of it. I'm sad, too

I have my own dead lovers and unreviewed books 

and now they're putting the guy outside

into the back of a car as I gaze into 

the flashing lights and pour another wine

and when I sit down to answer one of the sad messages

I tell my poet friend not to worry too much

they'll cancel us all eventually.


All The Things That Are Surely Coming


There are moments that come from nowhere

in which I realize I am perhaps more 

lonely than I'd imagined, more sad.

In my sleepless hours I consider what's 

become of me and I'm not sure what 

to make of it. I get up a while and think 

about someone who once loved me 

and is now dead. I wonder why I didn't 

love them more, and if I should have. 

I think of a few people I did love

and wonder where they've gone to, 

wonder if they'd come back if  I 

took the time to explain things 

a bit.  I don't imagine so. 

I think of all the things that are surely 

coming that I wouldn't wish upon 

me or anyone. I wrote this poem 

in my head early this morning when 

I couldn't sleep. It's late 

afternoon now, and I'm trying 

to write it down. I think 

there was more to it, I should 

have jotted things down as they came.

I think there's a pretty good line

that I'm missing somewhere, 

it might have tied it all together somehow.

Now I'm thinking of how nothing 

is really much after all,  and how our 

dreams of immortality leave no 

impression upon the void. 

I understand my own sufferings,

such as they are, don't register much

upon the scale of things, and I've made 

a peace with that. We've all got problems, 

as my friend is fond of saying (he's 

not really my friend). But sometimes 

it all comes upon you unexpected, 

you know? In any case, there's no 

need for drama. It's 4 p.m. here

in San Francisco. The air is filled 

with ash from distant fires, and there's

maybe a few beers left in the fridge.

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