Against Detroit

  1. Let's move to Detroit she said,
  2. Her leg overtop of mine
  3. In the bar.
  4. She said, Use your phone
  5. As a flashlight, the darkness turning
  6. Purple beneath her hand.
  7. Dark is the most common adjective
  8. Found in poems. The second
  9. Is silent.
  10. Nothing is
  11. Truly dark or absolutely
  12. Silent.
  13. The more boring a piece of art is
  14. The easier it is to explain it;
  15. Hence also to praise it.
  16. I've never been to Detroit
  17. But it sounds boring because
  18. Everyone loves it so much.
  19. I want to read
  20. a book of Selected Poems
  21. that contains only one poem.
  22. By reading that one poem
  23. A particular way, aloud, the reader unlocks
  24. Another poem. And so on.
  25. The best part of an orgasm
  26. Is that afterwards, I don't feel
  27. Like having another one.
  28. Producing art doesn't seem to
  29. Exhaust anyone. What exhausts them
  30. Is talking about making it.
  31. Whenever I told you
  32. I was busy
  33. I was masturbating.
  34. It was obnoxious when Boulez said
  35. The solution to opera
  36. Was to bomb the opera houses.
  37. Feldman said certain things
  38. To get a rise out of an audience.
  39. Those things also happened to be true.
  40. The sharpest turn I can think of
  41. In a contemporary poem is in
  42. Boland's “Atlantis.”
  43. Someone should define
  44. Where a turn becomes
  45. A leap.
  46. If you've read the book,
  47. No matter how you felt about it,
  48. It's one of your influences.
  49. We fell asleep beneath
  50. The stuffed goose and woke
  51. Beneath the stuffed goose.
  52. Feldman had four wives
  53. Three mistresses
  54. And no children.
  55. I once made a list of everyone
  56. I’d slept with and realized later
  57. I’d forgotten about someone.
  58. Lying to your therapist
  59. Is dumb and a waste of money
  60. But I do it anyway.
  61. Scientists estimate you
  62. Can only stay in love
  63. For eighteen months.
  64. They should also say:
  65. With the same person,
  66. Consecutively.
  67. The poets I talk about the most
  68. Are the ones
  69. I envy the most.
  70. In interviews, Feldman hardly
  71. Ever mentions love
  72. Or romance.
  73. In Distant Star, the armless
  74. Man turns the pages
  75. Of the book with his tongue.
  76. She asked me if
  77. I still loved her like crazy
  78. Or just regular.
  79. Music’s tragedy,
  80. he said, is that it begins
  81. with perfection.