notes on the telephone

often when I am up here drinking
and at the keyboard until 3 a.m.
or so
my wife gets on the telephone
downstairs,
pours her own drinks
and gets into marathon
interchanges
with her sister or her
niece
or somebody else
as the classical music
lifts my battered brain
and the drink lifts
it
and my fingers work
the words,
my wife works out
on the telephone
exchanging
through the hours
whatever is needed
to be
exchanged.
some need this.
their very souls
seem at
stake
through the wave
of
babble.

me, I’m just not a
telephone
person.

it goes mostly
like this:
“sure.  how are
you?
everything’s
fine.
check you
later…”

I used to take
the telephone off
the hook.
once I opened
the whole damn
thing and stuffed the
bell and the
bell-ringer with
rags.
then I pissed on
it.
I was drunk,
of course.

but there’s something
about the human
voice that is not
good:  it comes from
the
human.

you tell that to my wife
downstairs now,
she’ll say,
“of course!”

strange, isn’t it,
how two people can
live under the same
roof.

like
that.


on the telephone
exchanging
through the hours
whatever is needed
to be
exchanged.
some need this.
their very souls
seem at
stake
through the wave
of
babble.

me, I’m just not a
telephone
person.

it goes mostly
like this:
“sure.  how are
you?
everything’s
fine.
check you
later…”

I used to take
the telephone off
the hook.
once I opened
the whole damn
thing and stuffed the
bell and the
bell-ringer with
rags.
then I pissed on
it.
I was drunk,
of course.

but there’s something
about the human
voice that is not
good:  it comes from
the
human.

you tell that to my wife
downstairs now,
she’ll say,
“of course!”

strange, isn’t it,
how two people can
live under the same
roof.

like
that.