The Pursuit of Higher Education

He wrote well
Not in great volumes
But well, and worth reading
Didn’t sell much, to places that paid
Didn’t place a lot, in places that love the written word
But couldn’t afford to pay
Still, it was good, or at least “as good as”
So he did the right thing, and got an MFA
You can teach on an MFA
Stay inside of what you like
Be involved “in the business”
If not exactly get rich or famous
He doesn’t write much anymore
No time, really, and
For what?

No Number

Life is short
Turn off your phone
Throw it into an ocean
Burn diesel
Eat red meat
Smoke something—something good
Throw your phone into the ocean
No city
No place
No number
No name

The Covenant

No man seeks to serve
that seeks office.
They seek privilege of position.
When they submit
They submit to the hierarchy that owns the office—
A temporary sacrifice
(Because these kinds of ambitions have queues)
so that in their turn
they might perpetuate, and sustain
and rule
by rod, by scourge, by fire, and
having extinguished the non-believers,
the homosexuals
the poets
women, and
at last
Those brothers incorrect in their interpretations,
(Their rivals)
It will be one man alone
With his God
“Just thee and me, O Lord, just thee and me”
Like they dreamt when they knelt
With clasped hands or
Forehead to floor
In perfect faith

The Dead Old Poets Society

You see these old guys
Long fingernails holding tight to their canes
Talk to them awhile
And they’ll tell you how they went to hear Bukowski read
At City Lights in San Francisco
How he was quiet before he went on
How he got as drunk as they say he did
They partied with him afterwards, and
He offered to fight them, all of them
“All you motherfucks” he said
“One at a time or all at once, a standing offer.”
They cheered that too
So you listen, and you think,
If I had a dime
That joint must have held ten thousand people
For all the people who say they were there
But hear the old poet out
He’ll tell you how there were women there
Beautiful girls
Scholarship students,
No whores go figure
Many with their own poems
On typewritten pages, or
Poems handwritten in journals
Carried along
Lots of rhymes
But it was a time
When people would come
To hear poets read
And they even paid for the privilege, so
All things might be thought possible
That’s why so many say they were there
Because in their heart and soul they wanted to be
Still want to be
And some even were