Already

I’m not used to endings
which is to say
I’m not used to beginning
things at least

I had no say
in the matter
I just arrived
in a manner of speaking

the same way
that things just come
and then they go away
for a time

you can tell
by the way when things
appear already
they are waving.

They Used To Call Them Records

Even as I wish
there were more time
like there used to be
to sit with a record album
and read the lyrics
while the music was playing
I still hold out hope
that I will get around
to bringing down
the records from the attic
and finding a spare shelf
to place them carefully upon
and removing them
from their threadbare sleeves
and lifting the needle
to place upon the circle
a few times because
I never got the hang of
queuing the record up
just at the start
where there’s nothing
but static and potential
and time to put the lyrics
in both of your hands
before they reach
your eyes and ears
and last as long as the silence
at the beginning and the end
and everywhere surrounding them.

Never Permit Relief

I’m the kind of listener
who keeps the radio on
even when it’s talking at me
asking for money I don’t have
just because it takes less effort
not to turn the voices off
and hope in a minute perhaps
they will return to their
regularly scheduled programming.

So Many Words

You keep saying that
not in so many words
but the general idea
irritates my sensibilities
by which I mean
I have heard this before
not in such a manner
but you can’t tell me
that no one hasn’t said
such a thing as this
in quite the same way
for instance at any moment
someone must be saying
exactly the same words as this
at precisely this very moment.

It’s A Living

I’ve been stringing together
so many jobs
that aren’t really jobs
like sleeping in
until an unreasonable hour
and struggling to see
the significance of getting out
of bed or the empty minutes
it takes until the coffee is ready
to say nothing of breakfast
which is always ready
just a few minutes before
I really should be having lunch.

Conference

Likely I am not the one
you were referring to
when you said you didn’t
understand the assignment
in that you didn’t comprehend
what’s been on the syllabus
for the entire semester
and are only just now
paying attention to
when it supposedly counts
even though there is no
exam in this course
it can’t be that difficult
to see that all you have to do
is hand in what you’ve handed in
already and if you lost
what you have written
even if it was months ago
that’s fine you’ll just keep
your grade as originally given
although I wouldn’t advise it.

Mowers

It’s happening again
they’re murdering the young grass
every week whether it’s grown
or not
at this rate
there will be nothing left
no stumps of dirt
or holes for critters
to burrow into
just the browned out earth
kicking up its own dust
until there’s a hole in the ground
and nothing else.

Rite of Spring

If by living
in the past
it is necessary

to bring the dead
back from the dead
then so be it

The idea is to make
the protests and
the counter-protests

so overwhelm
the auditorium
that no one can hear

the dissonance
or see the human
ritual sacrifice

to discern
the dancer from
the dance