The papers said that I was thinner.
In another life, I was a commissionaire,
or caricaturing tourists in some difficult city.
I was thinking Venice was a no.
I shouldn’t heve grumped on Annie, but
I didn’t know her dog had died.
As I’ve said before, no one should cover ‘Life on Mars’.
I was trying to figure a way of putting
an epigraph before an epigraph.
I was a cipher in my own petty system of abandon.
I was wondering how long we’d have to wait for
Tom-and-Alice, which seems inevitable.
I was wondering how much of this could make it into Latin.
I thought of Sinéad asleep. Her sneeze.
I had bidden farewell to bread.
By ‘the papers’ I mean whichever papers.
I recalled what Imo said about size and attraction and felt it
like a gun quite close to my head, by which I mean cold and true.
I was tired of people westering at me,
gimping over their phones.
I regretted promising Greg new winklepickers.
I felt uncomfortable that someone might ask
which of the younger poets I found most attractive.
I was hung and drawn.
When I argued internally, it was generally with you, friend.
I was fond of the Conroys.
I was fond of my own blood, its cameo appearances.
I worried that people called Geier Geier and Faisal Faisal.
I tried to remember the last time I had said ‘no’ to anything.
I thought of when I hugged Charlie and she said,
‘but you don’t like people touching you.’
It was clear I had allies and that was something.
My sexual fantasy about Sally is the least explicit –
not even a nipple, not even a sigh.
I was toying with my chances of survival under the circumstances.
I was thinking of Kathy – new book – but is she happy?
I wondered how Simon sleeps, all those murdered children
swimming in his eyes.
I uninvented the sandwich. I worked on
the square root of my happiness.
I tried saying no. Like this – NO, but no one was convinced.