a visitor complains of my disenfranchise…

               I

“hey, man,” he said, “I liked your poems better when you were
puking and living with the whores and hitting the bars and
making the drunk tanks and getting into alley
fights.”

then
he went on to talk about his own
work.

               II

what these don’t realize is how ridiculous it is to
remain with the same subject
matter.

after some time, the whores really wear: their hard
visions, their curses, their tiny endearments become more than
monotonous.

and as for puking out your guts you can get a share of that
too
especially when it leads to the stinking death of the
charity wards.

and as for the alley fights I was never too good with the
hatred, I was only seeing if I had a touch of courage–
I found some, and knowing that, there was no further need to
explore.

I mean, you can set up a life-style in your poems but sooner or
later you will be found out to be play-acting:   (one only lingers
so long within an area and then it thins, washes away) and, yes,
I still love my booze               but
I can pass the whores, the bars, the drunk tanks without feeling that
I have sold my god damned soul down the bloody dung-filled
river.

the critics would be delighted to again find me in some skid-row
alley
face bashed-in (again) and the flies circling the emptiness of me and
my bottle (again).

these
always need some Van Gogh some Mozart to feed upon some
Villon
some Dostoevsky against a firing wall.
these
critics consider the ultimate misfortune of another
as a viable art-
form.

as for the end-results of art-forms
I say that these did not choose their pain, that no
reasonable person
would
especially to be incommunicated from the lecterns of
the universities
or to be flaccidly indented into the pale and dull pages of
Immortality
or any such lynching of the castrated gibbon of our
insipid
agony.

               III

of course, I didn’t tell this to my visitor
he was too busy
belching and barfing and woofing and poofing
gurgling the tended libations before him
as he read me his own exploits of the mighty
gutter
which were hardly ingenite
barely messed with a minor terror

that loud voice of braggadoccio
those slipping hairy eyebrows

as if living badly were an accomplishment
a very proud
accomplishment

which it could be if properly put

his feet flat upon my floor

he brings me the pain he claims is so very
necessary.