reading till i don’t fall asleep

I read James Claffey in the bathroom
and Ryder Collins, and Nabokav
not all of them on the toilet
I take long baths, you see
read Amy Hempel in the bath tub too
book is goddamn destroyed now
I read Bukowski, Love is a Dog
From Hell, while pissing
each piss, a poem, standing there
paperback in one hand
and you get the rest
and I read Len Kuntz that way
too. Pablo Neurda: also a pisser.

I read Seidlinger at work
sitting on top of a tower that boils
oil into gasoline, fire shooting
into the black starless sky
and inside a big metal drum
I read Heather Dorn, I was supposed
to be chipping concrete with a
pneumatic gun, but I wasn’t
I was reading and pretending
so be it, they had a night shift on the way

When I crashed my car, I was reading
Raymond Carver, the cop asked
“is it at least a good book?”
“sad book”
“goes well with this ticket then”
I was reading Meg Tuite on a narrow airplane
when the war zone turbulence started
the lights flashed out
and in the dark cabin
the family in front of me
started singing holy death bible hymns
we survived, the book ended good too

was reading Dustin Holland at
the doctor’s office when they couldn’t
figure out what was wrong with me
for the second and third time
fourth time I was reading Gay Degani
now I’m onto Robert Vaughan
they still don’t know what is wrong
with me

was reading merce rodoreda
time of the doves in the park
by my apartment when I was
on unemployment
have read Fante and Misti Rainwater
on state checks too, not to
mention Kevin Ridgeway
Denis Johnson and Frank Reardon
I like being unemployed and
being state subsidized to read
those books in that park
by my apartment
more of that please

read Kyle Muntz at the beach
got sunburn everywhere
except between my toes
and my nut sack
read Ben Loory to my friend’s
kid who couldn’t sleep
read Mik Everette on the subway
and missed my stop
two times, but that’s the good life
read seven of Aaron Dietz’s books
in a yellow chair next to my radiator
the radiator was chanting and
popping and making a fucking racket
occasionally I’d yell at it
“shut up shut up shut up!”

read In Watermelon Sugar again
last night, did that one again
in the bath tub again
I’m always doing that
In Watermelon Sugar and
the motherfucking bath tub
Richard Brautigan probably
had a good one
he brought into the bath tub too

one can only hope
and order more books, drunk.

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