I’m not entirely sure what to tell you.
You asked for a thing
and I produced the thing.
you had a timeline
that I was unable to meet
but I think, frankly,
it was unrealistic,
and not properly discussed in advance.
Had I known when you expected delivery,
really, then surely
I’d have furnished the thing in a timely fashion,
and it’s here
and here we are
and the trees are much more affordable now
so merry Christmas
and happy President’s Day, to boot.
It’s been so long since I last saw you,
a kid born then
is probably wearing braces.
The awkward silence between us
can drive now, I think,
at least during the day.
Our breakup can vote next Thursday
and the anniversary of our first meeting
was able to drink
The First Kiss has a twentieth birthday, too.
Do you remember it?
Or do all of our dates
now mean nothing?
When you were a child
the world looked down on you
and made no sense.
When you grew
you looked up and around
and you read the primers
(“the quick brown fox”
and all that)
and you learned the words
that made the world
make a sort of sense.
There was order
there was justice
there was a reason
for your parents’ instructions
and explanations for when to turn on the heat
when to run about in the fields
and when to sit still.
you learned some of the earlier lessons
were not quite so simple
but many other things fell into place
and the world proved more sensible than not.
The rules of the parents
of the teachers
of all establishments
were thus: do as we say
and life will go smoothly.
And the heat rose
and the animals played
and the trains ran on time
and you whistled while you worked
and one day
when your learning was done,
and learned something new
or unlearned something old
and that might explain why
you are now cuffed to a radiator
along with an angry fox
but it probably doesn’t
all the things you learned were lies
since the first thing you knew
was the only one true:
the world looks down on you
and nothing is sense.
I read his last words.
They were so sad
He seemed lost
but not yet ready to go.
He didn’t mean to go
I’m sure of it
despite how it eventually ended.
It was accidental
– it had to be.
It had to be.
They were just so sad.
The leather jacket is too cool.
It’s too hot.
It’s too sharp
I couldn’t pull off such a motorcycle coat
in my younger prettier days
let alone now
in this hideous condition.
The poseur is appear in such garb
exactly as I appear tonight
in this dark
sharp and imposing
much too black night
that I cannot pull off
not matter how much
I need to tonight.
It’s all right if you’re not a creator.
You can be many other things
You can be a wall
or a bucket
or a danish
or a motor vehicle.
You could be a fishing rod
or a fish tooth
or a fisheye lens.
You could be Len’s younger cousin,
who isn’t an artist,
Have you met Len?
Oh, you’re not missing much.
And you’re not missing much
if you’re not a creative sort
It’s only one sort of sort to be,
You could be any other kind in the world
– just use your imagination.
Which is a very fine thing for them to propose,
how was I to decide
what to do?
There’s a point when you realize
that the things you’re creating
are not so much because you feel you have to create them
but because you feel you have to create.
You feel responsible to art,
and you simply are obliged
to repeat the actions you once perpetrated
with joy and abandon
but now perform in practiced perpetuity.
It’s not the worst thing.
Before you did it because you could.
You’d do it for free.
Now you do it because they ask.
You do it because they pay.
It’s what the world does to all of us
if you get good enough
at the things you love
or so I hear.
Not everyone has that luxury.
You look at me like that
as you have for some time now
but I doubt
if anything’s going to change
as you may wish.
You are who you are
and I are who I are
and these are the way things are
and that’s just how it stands.
I’m just telling it like it is:
that you don’t like my sad girl songs anymore
but I’m not quite done singing them.
My certain brand of misery
can only be expressed in the twee
and if that’s how it continues to be
from now until infinity,
then, again: so sorry
– but not really.
I’ve gotta sing it
until I’m not sad anymore.
Maybe then I’ll roar.
Open yourself up to new experiences.
New scary experiences.
New uncomfortable experiences
that can get you wet
and might leave you on your feet
– to an extent that might cramp up your legs
not that there’ll be anyone to complain to about it
because the customer support department won’t really exist
because your next experience will be
in HELL or the tri-country area
or something like that.
Try something outside the familiar
like mild amounts of poison:
not enough to kill
but enough to cause discomfort and hallucinations
and possibly demolish certain lesser-used intestines
so you can learn new things about your body
and what you truly value.
Value your body more.
Get sold to slavers
who will then keep the profits
because, after all,
they own you, so they own your property (duh!)
Work for a living
and then a dying.
Start writing fortunes
for a horroscope company
thus freeing me from this curse
any time now… please?
Manhattan, you still shock me
which should come as no surprise
with what Con Ed still charges to put twinkle in the eyes
of a couple million shoppers at a couple thousand stores
– but economics ain’t news in this City anymore.
For just today while climbing up the heights of Fort George Hill
I found one of those areas where urban life’s gone still.
In Highbridge Park I entered with no one else around
and in almost an instant – except for traffic sounds –
I was lost to all the city that has so long been my home
and found a wooded glen in which for hours I could roam.
The reverie could only last so long, in truth, because
the City’s always called me back. She will. She always does.
But for a moment, in Manhattan, I sat on a tree
and thanked you, my town, for this opportunity.