It is in the finding, such as iron ore.
A spectacular search, as if for buried miners.
All these broken bandits and grim hustlers.
Clackety-clack, the universe, the town.
Specialties of the house: Roquefort?
Abyssinians? Dactyls and trochees?
The moon’s in our sights, there, above the transom.
And your boy has fine motor skills; he throws strikes.
Increasing lack of appreciation for rogues and outlaws,
war-loving extras, beautiful dangerous people.
Light applause: for censorship? for salaciousness?
Their divine aura, however misplaced, motivates us.
Always on planes—sometimes on boats,
other conveyances—a sigh—from the compartment
(of the train). Something shiny in the dark
late last night. Let’s go out and find it!
Then when Mike got a job, I thought,
I better get one. The pain started from there.
Capsized, on our filthy boat, in the fog,
with a bell buoy—can you hear it?—nearby.
Give my love to…Miranda! Susan! Cheryl!
Effusions, godlike, singular, tempting.
But some temptresses we know inspire a form of triage.
The antivirals baffle the chronic sufferers.
We kept willfully making a story of a story.
A little cartoon with distinctive patches of curly hair
on the round heads of the happy characters.
Or, just leaning to my friend’s ear to whisper.
It was a tough day. I brought my instruction manual.
I walked into the training room. It was a brief meeting.
They hired a consultant with wide shoulders.
Afterward, we met for margaritas to deconstruct it.
I always remember, when someone mentions Van Halen,
these two really drunk kids. Some of us are abandoned
altogether. Little cartoon gods in khaki jackets.
And some of us grow out of militant excess.
Sometimes I wave at the neighbors.
The one who feels he needs to call me Mr. Steven,
and the one who talks about aging while working,
and the one to whom Liz and I have never spoken.
One of the many fantasy lights spilling an exhaust
all its own. When I’m in Vegas I stay at TI.
I hit twelve just about every time.
I go to a meeting on St. Louis Avenue.
Little babies in the fronds with baby hiccups,
just like back when we all had a lot of money.
These wise editors…Tony! Melissa! Adam!
A little later, the ghostly radiator I remember.
Pebbles with lights under the water and tadpoles.
Circuitous delivery systems involving left-handers.
One two three four, he said, and we were startled?
Oh, lampshade, little code for codes to break.
Did I mention dactyls and trochees, line breaks, caesura?
A poet whom I admire told me I won’t live forever.
All these near-geniuses who secretly love outlaws
(and their spooky little story-hours).
Diplomats and their never shabby wives.
Streamers for el presidente!
So many things I’ve wanted to say.
Sleep, for instance—I brought my bedroll.
I was not a wise appropriator.
I blushed at all the wrong times.
A fountain by my head, music of water—pure irritation.
You know the answers; you really do.
You know the answers, but you run. Either you
or the answers are holy. I believe I know which.
And I finally looked up ut operaratur eum
from Voltaire’s Candide which means to stay busy.