The silence of a house without a phone!
Nothing but dogs and creaking stairs—
No radio, no television, no stereo—
Nothing but streets and distant highways
To distract me, and I don't own a car.

I could almost give up my typewriter,
My bicycle, my electric lights, all
My machines, even my alarm clock!
They're so cumbersome, and such small things
When you consider what I'd gain—

Imagine! To perfect my penmanship!
To give up even my pen and shout
Poems in the street till dark and then
In bars, for beer maybe, till they throw me out
And what a fight then! Marvelous!

Think of friendship with roaches and crickets—
When I come home at last after boozing
And rhyming they'll sing my new songs with hard
Wings and feet and whisper while I'm thinking
Of old lovers—Oh! Would anyone

Take me home and lie beside me through nights
With only my poor wit and worse guitar,
Without even an ashtray for their bored
Cigarettes? Would you? Ah, the best poems
Are nothing beside a lover's tongue and thighs.

 

  (published in The Louisville Review #3, Fall 1977)


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