In times of such economic turmoil, political import and environmental uncertainty, sometimes I simply want to stand, 19 years old, watching a wall of department store tvs condense the whole thing into stupid, simplified sound bites, mewling mouths of anchors and beauty queens rashed out by headphoned metal. I could nod there until everything's dusty and blown away, or rebuilt and shiny, dependent only on the lead salesman to tell me when to move out of the way.
everything else becomes fiction
sometimes I sit on the edge of my southside porch,
drinking french-pressed coffee I bought with government
stamps and wonder how anything ever seems urgent.
then a cop car blazes past, at nine thirty a.m.,
sirens shrieking, lamenting. then a firetruck,
then an ambulance, then three more red-and-blues.
I am halfway into my book, about a young man who
grows older as he wanders around the world unfullfilled,
sleeping with lots of women,satisfying all but
the most wanton, admitting to some of his own flaws
but not others. the dustjacket describes it as
thought-provoking. the sentences are constructed immaculately.
the cop scanners crackle hard in my neighbor's truck.
coffee grounds take over my mouth. a fog, in august,
over the tree-line, and more sirens and two old ladies cross
in the middle of the street,one holding a safeway bag
bulging with onions. they cross in front of a bus,
without even looking. if there weren't raccoons, I don't know
what we'd do about the trash.
soon I will trip down the hill for my own reckoning like I've done daily
for a year and a half, all my life.