& Thus I pass this day given unto me: the morning
cups that square agony brews, noonday mug that makes
systems go, evening circus that whips the mind to lap
the highs & lows only prose, in dazzlement, can rock—
That I, in pretty bourgeois passion, must never dare crap:
There are lesser guys Ho-ho! who have suffered much
& my kind of crying is camp, a drag! Man, you’re alive
& kicking: this fellow here has scores of scars you lack!
O the laws of human reason are too gross to fathom
this soul to suck, & availing myself of this sheet of jive
I lose control of madness, and, chained to earth, spit at life—
If this is all there is to it Ho-ho: I miss the show, Manichean
Words are mere re-runs, & this clutch of rimes simply signifies
that Inferno is Alighieri’s bummer, poetry is a white white lie.
From Imaginary Russian Roulette, 1976