(in memory of David Berman)
I am too much with myself,
I want to be someone else.
Where is my mind? Going up
the street like a leaf, high above
the busy little one-way, in my stupid
hat and gloves I lie awake,
wonder if I’ll sleep
like a poker in someone’s fireplace.
I feel stupid & contagious, out
till 3 a.m., pillaging the drinks
of friends. When you have no one,
no one can hurt you. Language keeps me
locked and repeating. Never tell them
where it hurts. Keep the bullet
safe inside. Someday the stone
will roll away, & soon you’ll see
that year, something I never knew
I had. Staple my lips shut, pour the milk
& I’ll say when. I want to go
back, but I’m halfway to the place
that we will meet. America
is just a word but I use it.
In the morning light, I’ll hold
that ashtray tight, waiting for
something to break. Here comes
a smile on her face. I’ve never been
too good with names.
Let forever be delayed.
A cento with lyrics from Richard Buckner, Buffalo Tom, Fugazi, Husker Du, Lemonheads, Minutemen, Miracle Legion, Nirvana, Palace Brothers, Pavement, Pixies, Replacements, Silver Jews, Spinanes, Superchunk, and Uncle Tupelo.