When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?

Wednesday 2-18, downtown A train

“Oh, happy fucking day,”

said a bitter old face

like mine

ceiling sprung a new leak

drip, drip

onto my last nerve

woman at Obamacare

didn’t know much about benefits

but read my 1099s to me,

including the one I received yesterday

“Do you still work at EVCS?” she asked

teeth and eyes not

needed for our health

not here

in the land where we no longer

tolerate

the lynching of former slaves

here

in the land of the free

and the home

of brave

corporate personhood  

“Whoa! calm down, man…”  

“Don’t you fucking

call me ‘man’, man,

don’t you fucking call me ‘man’!”  

There was a time

my hand would become a fist

where humans

forced to wear signs saying

“I am a man”

would have made me want to holler

arms hard,

ready to strike  

“Who is there to strike?”

a voice asks,

reasonable, kindly.  

“Those who benefit

from the murder

& enslavement of others,”

I say.

 “Ah, yes,” the voice says,

sadly,

“but one can never touch them.”  

ii

“When were you wont to be so full of songs, fool?”

the king asked me  

“Since every sweet lake, sire, receded to shoals of piss

a cool drink not sold by the bottle

living now only in fond nostalgia

while the priapic, tireless

thrusting, twisting, plunging

forms the rhythm section,

the recoiling cringe replacing dance.”

“There is more hope

for a dog returning to his vomit 

than for you, fool,” noted the king

“Yes,” I said,

“another song, sire?”

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