On What is Proper

One should enjoy flowers in the company of beauties, get drunk under

the moon in the company of charming friends, and enjoy the flight of
snow in the company of high-minded scholars.
--apocryphal, Chinese

Born, bored by conflict
taught by degrees to believe
we must contend, find
some purchase, gain

the edge, you put on
weight after weight,
heaving your poems
into the unappreciative air--

humming to your
uncertain heirs
a nondescript
Tin Pan tune.

"In the circumstances--,"
mysteriously reduced,
cane-hobbled, short
of wind, one-eyed,

in a guppy ambience
of grey duct tape
& tastes of metals,

Dost'ou still announce,
"I can out-write, out-fight,
out-fuck any So and So"?

Does the eye still
open to startling,
starling iridescence?

Hast'ou learned to disinherit
the wee small voice?

Or dost'ou still measure
wrensong vibrato
by the lion's roar?

And hast'ou put on gloves,
entered the ring--by the
bye, did you ever invent
that goddamned fuckometer?

Thus do I interrogate myself.
The unresponsive I.

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