the editor asked

the editor asked for poems but it’s too near the fucking Xmas
season to type out some fucking poems and I dislike people
who use the word “fuck” in their poetry
                                                                           it’s an attempt to
sound earthy and real but it usually doesn’t work
                                                                           reminds me of some
lady poets who like to get up at readings and scream out words
like “cock” and “pussy”
                                                                           this makes them think
(while they are shaking their cans)
that everybody will want to screw them and maybe they’ll get
                                                                           the trouble with most
of these so-called sexpots is that they wear boots and blue-
jeans and turtle neck sweaters
                                                                           they are about as sexy
as rusty thumbtacks.

now poetry even outside the Xmas season is usually so much
                                                                           hundreds of little
magazines with their special clans
                                                                           always the same poets
in the same issues
                                                                           each group believing
in their own special genius as if getting published in these
throwaways edged them into some special climate
                                                                           and then too you have
the successful writers of the slick magazines and the New York
book publishers
                                                                           and they write just as
badly only they practice harder at it
                                                                           they grip at formula
that will please the mass mind.

                                                                           the editor asked for
poems but it’s too near the Xmas season
                                                                           not that I honor the
Xmas season
                                                                           it’s just that at this
time there’s so much dark death in the air
                                                                           writhing stinking
                                                                           wild automobiles rush-
ing full of petty frightened minds
                                                                           it’s the time of the
ultimate horror and the ultimate lie
                                                                           it’s a time to hide
and if you type you come out of hiding
                                                                           even if to piss upon
the enemy
                                                                           there’s something
about it all that strikes you numb
                                                                           you wait for a better
time when the lonely fake smiling faces return to their
normal look of true subtraction.

so the editor asked for poems but all I   can give is a small
                                                                           no wrapping
                                                                           no ribbon
but now I rest with small animals
                                                                           small ideas

Shostakovich on the radio to my right poking his sanguine
face through the speaker:
                                                                           the miracle simmers
and I light a cigarette.