It’s just a space
some geometric kind of classist identification that
come the revolution
won’t mean much of anything
to much of anyone anyway, so…
It’s just a room.
It only means what you put into it
so fuck it
keep it minimal.
Just a room.
You get out what you put in.
It’s about investment.
A room’s a construct, really,
like a home or a family
or a nation.
You believe in it
only if you want to.
So why bother believing?
Why bother believing?
Why bother believ – I am asking you.
I need an answer.
The room can be anywhere, can’t it?
I can take my room with me, right?
I need an answer
before the Marshals.
The deal is done.
The line’s been crossed
– just where the X lies.
Hands have shook
and oaths sworn
and babies traded and it’s out there now.
The future’s told.
We know what’s to be.
We tried to forestall it all we could
but the die is cast
and it is snake eyes.
the deal’s done.
Let’s look at the terms
and see what we got.
That one time
that one girl asked me out
that one decade
back in that one century
during that one millennium over there?
That was nice.
I remember it sometimes
when I think about how things
are going these days
It helps a bit
and makes me realize
that at least once
in different times and places
somebody saw something in me
at least a little bit appealing.
What’s that you say?
It wasn’t a date
that that girl had asked me out for
an information session
on why she thought
was my late-developed retardation?
It’s called intellectual development disorder.
The other thing
just isn’t PC.
Please forgive me
my latest distance
but I have realized that I have only eight more
allotted embarrassments before you,
in this millennium,
lest I transform into a puddle of squish
which will then be a ninth embarrassment
at which point I simply don’t know shall be.
I’ve been trying to pace myself,
so that I don’t blow it
and lose my cool
and lose the privilege of your presence
which I lose sleep about so frequently.
It’s ever so easy
when you’re around
for me to fly off the handle
and get excited
and say something stupid
or jump up and down
and randomly nervously
erotically gesticulate about rhododendrons
or something equally irrelevant
and run into a waitron
or say waitron
which is either demeaning or meaningless
but whichever way
breaks a lot of glass
and makes me blush and you looking
for someone else to talk to.
So it’s better
if we occasionally
keep in touch
without line of sight.
even your handwriting
is enough to bring out the fool in me.
The loops can bring me wild.
I’ll see you when I can
which I hope is soon
and I hope is often
and I hope is all the time
and I better sign off before
all right bye.
I wrote something for you
the other day
but you didn’t hear it
because you are never around
when I compose
because you are never around
because you seem to always find
some other place to be
I do not
take it personally
are never here
I would like to say
are missing out
by not hearing
what I wrote
but it seems clear
it’s not you
who suffers here.
OK, if this is it
– if this is the end –
the be-all, end-all
catastrophic, cataclysmic, cat-gut guitar strung-out
last night on earth before the zombies hide their faces
then rending people in the streets.
If this is where we’re going
before it’s all gone…
then I’ve just gotta say: what a stupid way
I’ve spent just about every day until now
and what a waste I’ve made of everything.
I can’t believe I spent all that time
on trying to get in shape
when I’d never have been able to outrun the end
– and I should have known that, really.
The end was always gonna end up faster, right?
I should have eaten that last fatted calf
and then ordered another
because what’s it up to today, huh?
But maybe it’s not too late
to set right some of those last mistakes
because if there are hours left
before the satellites fall
or the demons ball
or tumbles wall
or whatever fates come to call,
if I’ve got a chance, at least we can dance
and I can say what I should have said years ago
and you reject me righteously
like I deserved had I ever dared in the first place.
At least there’s time for that
before it all ends.
At least there’s that.
Abby, as a representative for your people,
please accept the appreciation of my people
for all you have done.
Thank you for the feminism and the gay rights.
I’m sure that Oscar Wilde and Sappho thank you as well
along with Rosie the Riveter, the Suffragettes
and Queens Victoria, Elizabeth and Boudicca
– but since they’re not of my generation
I’m afraid they’ll have to thank you separately.
Thank you for the fashion and the music
and the peace and the activism
none of which existed before you
and none of which could have been considered without your input. Thank you for your your and vigor
concepts previously unconceived.
Thank you for the fires in your bellies
which only you could start
and which could only burn for you, Abby,
and your kind, so long as your sort could live.
There will never be an era like yours
and we will never be able to thank you enough
so this will be the last time
I say these words
and from now on
I’ll remain silent on these subjects
and go in about my long life.
Perhaps you could do your own special variation of that too, Abby?
It’ll smart for sure, I’ll bet,
but I don’t have time for the pain.
I’ve got a lot of things to get at today
and I think it’s gonna rain.
If I take a second to stop and chat
or look around or think or anything else,
there’s a very good chance I’ll consider
an extended break
and that way madness lies.
So I move
or strut or jive walk
or whatever it is I’m doing today
but movement is the theme
and there’s no looking back
or paying attention to any distractions
for even an instant
else everything gets cut short.
We can’t afford that.
I’ll catch up on
what was missed.
I’ll take stock
and see the wounds
and I’ll calculate
how hard it might have been
to survive so long without a torso
but for now it’s just forward ho
until I say so.
This is when the Sidewalk will end;
where, if you walk the walk, you’ll break, not mend.
This is the date that you’ll tell your friends
is the day that the Sidewalk ends.
These are the times that you thought wouldn’t be:
with the doors unlatched; and all CDs free
and to see some AF, you must get on a G,
to a club that’ll still book your friends
’cause at this point when the future’s unknown
‘cept for prophets’ words in their random poems
all that is clear is that some bird has flown
and we’re here where the Sidewalk ends
and that’s alright mama, ’cause everything dies
and if it all stayed the same, that’d be the surprise.
It’s the time of the season, that’s where the truth lies.
And if it don’t break us, we’ll bend.
And maybe these words can bring comfort this time
as we travel through uncertain querulous climes
and if you don’t like the fare? I’ll refund your dime
to the place where the Sidewalk will end.
You can call me Daddy
the master of disaster
and I shall call you Stanley
if I wish.
You may name me Madame
the lady of the land
as I like it or lump it,
lording it over you,
these last days
before the empire cracks
and the apocalypse shivers
in its final clitoral climax.
I’ll be your Madame;
you’ll be my Max.
Today I can be a Renaissance song
for many a voice to sing along.
You can be an Elizabethan chant
for all the Brexicutioners to choose to rant.
Together we’ll end up the best of pals.
I can call you Betty.
You’ll name me your Madrig-Al.
Our identities don’t matter.
They change all the time.
Our roles vary like the days,
like the tides.
Like the ides – or Middlemarch –
change is always coming
and we are always in transition.
Whatever name you have for me
I will defy.
Whoever you think you want me to be
I will always be I.