I knew my mother would be dead soon
when she refused to answer any questions
about her parents or her youth
I knew my uncle would die a pauper
when he grew progressively obsessed
with drafting a plausible will
I knew my grandmother was becoming senile
when she lost her appetite
for playing cards
I knew my father was no longer a young man
when turning into our driveway
he crashed into a car
I knew America would be a colony again
when it forsook consensus for impasse
Let’s Talk About Chattanooga
Let’s talk about Chattanooga, the cloud
mountains, the monastery bench, drunk
at sunset, wrapped in outlandish ideas.
All right, you’ve closed the door, but you
still have the key. Did our decades have no
weight? Is time so subject to evaporation?
I replaced the dripcap on the garage, did I
mention that? Did I tell you I’m visiting
Lenny in Waterloo? Donna is pregnant again.
I still believe in regional happiness, you
know. I still believe in rebates. The kids,
scattered in their careers, are doing well.
I want you to know there’s still a place
for you at the table. It’s a new table, shiny.
Satan and the Moon
Satan and the moon are made of cheese.
That’s what my wife taught my kids.
They all dropped out of college.
Don’t believe what you hear. Believe what
you see. I watch TV excessively. My father
gets a cornea transplant every leap year.
Patrician vicissitudes run ransack
with benign alignments of the brain.
Never never never feed the publicans.