The Good Life

  1. Part of me is prismatic
  2. the best part
  3. crystal cushion for light
  4. cum-covered couch
  5. in a dark bar
  6. we sit there together
  7. talking about justice
  8. as if it really were
  9. triangular, distributive
  10. anarchy up to a point
  11. and the point is
  12. where it’s most
  13. just. Stimulation
  14. beyond arithmetic
  15. I’m talking about
  16. the good life not
  17. tax preparation
  18. although I had
  19. the kinky thought
  20. yesterday of a
  21. scrutable memoir
  22. mined from a fat
  23. folder of receipts
  24. perverse proof of
  25. repetitive excellence
  26. Wanton bucks, a diary,
  27. a dream journal
  28. with no symbols
  29. so good that
  30. metaphor trembles.
  31. I wanted it so bad
  32. it assumed me.
  33. And then it came.
  34. It wasn’t like
  35. an angel with a chum
  36. bag and paint
  37. scraper, more like
  38. floral syrup walking
  39. in torpor, settling
  40. in sopor on the train
  41. home, Aristotle
  42. supper, the good life.
  43. I was stupid
  44. to think I could
  45. learn about it from
  46. books. I made
  47. a syllabus for myself
  48. called The Good Life
  49. yeah it was long and
  50. its breadth sort of
  51. breathtaking, but
  52. the thing called
  53. the good life
  54. is purloined letter
  55. shit alas. It gots
  56. to shine, right where
  57. you think it ought
  58. to, nobling up
  59. Funyuns. Last place
  60. you’d look. Beneath
  61. my nose is just
  62. a mustache, but
  63. a little further
  64. down gets
  65. better. Hairs of my
  66. moustache flutter
  67. flirting with the lip
  68. I believe that the male
  69. as we know it will
  70. perish. I believe
  71. what no tax code does.
  72. The books, though,
  73. all agree. The surest
  74. way to find yourself
  75. living the good life
  76. is to feel as little
  77. as possible, which,
  78. if that’s true, I am
  79. fucked, as I just wrote
  80. a poem called “Feelings”
  81. after watching that
  82. exquisite Nina Simone
  83. performance
  84. in my office
  85. paid as semi-fuck
  86. (relative to demand)
  87. tamping down a smile
  88. (as a smile is the sign
  89. of the good life and thus
  90. anathema to work.)
  91. The poem goes
  92. Feelings
  93. I am writing an ode
  94. but I have no object
  95. to praise except
  96. my own feelings
  97. they don’t care
  98. they lick a scab
  99. until it melts off
  100. interior boo boo
  101. repeatedly
  102. stupid feelings
  103. if there were an Iron Man suit
  104. for them I would
  105. charge it
  106. reckless mini-me
  107. platinum card
  108. “insane” tax return
  109. and then even Thomas Gray’s corpse
  110. would shudder in
  111. that old quaint cemetery
  112. and know my odes
  113. are antidotal
  114. OK I was profligate
  115. filling up red cup
  116. with nips and splash
  117. cruising guppies
  118. claws full of stinky
  119. pre-rolleds. And I was
  120. profligate the next
  121. day too, calling
  122. Zeus old dog-face
  123. coo until it breaks
  124. then go home a crying mess
  125. I told the cab driver
  126. I knew Urdu
  127. I don’t even speak English
  128. and when I do
  129. I just reiterate forms of
  130. want sugar
  131. Mess in my palms
  132. hirsute and guts
  133. come out of it
  134. melted gum in a bunch
  135. of hairy blood
  136. those are my feelings
  137. pretty much
  138. polyphonous
  139. in their tendencies
  140. but there is only
  141. one war and about
  142. it I finally have
  143. only one feeling…
  144. I wrote this poem
  145. and then filled out
  146. my time sheet, and
  147. filled it out well. But
  148. I will tell you what
  149. I learned from
  150. this daily metabasis
  151. and how you too
  152. can live the good life
  153. even if you are in Tampa
  154. of the state or
  155. of the spirit.
  156. You can start
  157. by reading
  158. my e-mail.
  159. Find out what I love,
  160. how well I do it.
  161. If my screens crowd
  162. pups in a cuddle puddle
  163. massage oils that’s
  164. fine. All I want is
  165. the war to end with
  166. human victory over
  167. inhuman state and
  168. I want to drink
  169. Lillet and lay out
  170. on lithe pools
  171. and swim in loping
  172. strokes, get out, reheat,
  173. swim, reheat, repeat.
  174. I want a top of the line
  175. blender for a bargain price.
  176. I want to kiss (redacted)
  177. (sorry) in a dark yard
  178. blood three quarters wine
  179. I want the good life,
  180. the life that would
  181. make tools of surveillance
  182. obsolete. What government
  183. would abide watching
  184. such a party from outside?
  185. I crack crumb in gory
  186. canines, in the tub
  187. with a whole loaf,
  188. hands raised high
  189. car so big it
  190. has its own sky.
  191. The good life just
  192. arrives like money
  193. in Nicomachean Ethics
  194. when two people
  195. wanted an invisible
  196. arbiter. One had an
  197. extra house but no
  198. shoes and one had
  199. a thousand shoes.
  200. Two very rich people
  201. I should have said,
  202. and so should Aristotle.
  203. Maybe he did
  204. in the sequel
  205. which is now lost.
  206. But when it came
  207. into my house
  208. it was not made of
  209. copper. It never wore
  210. a sovereign imprint.
  211. And you could
  212. and should
  213. get really close to it.
  214. Like the smell
  215. of braising beef down
  216. a long hallway
  217. proximity to it makes
  218. it sweeter. You have
  219. to put your fingers in it.
  220. You have to puncture
  221. glass to get at it. And if that
  222. glass is the window
  223. of a Whole Foods
  224. it too will have to go.
  225. If you don’t put your
  226. nose in it and make it
  227. part of you it will only
  228. be the meh life
  229. not the good life.
  230. And what you want
  231. is the good life.
  232. Trust me, I know.
  233. I read your e-mail.