WHAT DO I KNOW

 

                                        for Michael Burkard

 

I was going to read your new book tonight going to start

on the balcony where I go to smoke standing next

to a square of light let out by the little window there

which gives enough to see if all the apartment lights are on

since I still havenít changed the bulb above the porch a waste

I know I was going to read but the snow was too strong

it blew right into the first few pages so I closed the book

and smoked with my back to the wind which felt

deliberate and defiant at the same time I mean the act

not the weather although I know either way works really

ten years ago I wrote ďgushing self-pityĒ next to a poem

in one of your books Iím sorry ten years ago I thought I knew

everything about what poems should do now I know I know

very little and that itís better this way standing here in the dark


TINY LOVE POEM

 

When you pick up

one of the guitars

 

I want to pick up

the other guitar

 

ON DECLINING AN INVITATION TO JOIN THE LIST

  

The turn from rhetoric sure has changed since I was young. Here we areóa monumental waste of petroleum
on a playing field: our competitiveness & selfishness, our tribal behaviors. I just find it silly that people are so
adamantly human. I just find the breath of energized language, boring through contemporary social strife, a system
that creates duplication & waste. Boredom must be boring; tedium should be tedious; both metaphor & reality, it seems,
produce together people constantly under stress, using waste bins as weapons, resentful of new interlopers
invading their territory, which is a vehicle for admonishing outsiders until they imagine the 21st century as one
long suicide punctuated by secret code words for the arrangement of orgies. Remember that episode of 90210
where you had to exchange an egg at a convenience store to get the location of the rave? Itís like that. You know,
at first I thought this whole topic to be racial violence, government plunder or patriots rushing back & forth, but now,
when a man actually faces prison time for urinating on his own stunt double, I know at the end of the day they counted
to nothing & didn't transform the latest mainstream straight-to-DVD territory. The book version operates like this: grow up,
be angry, impose draconian kinds of punishments on a great script editor, then beg comrades in their luxurious countries
without meaningful communication to get involved. Which is more boring, accusations of boredom or falling flatly on
oneís face in Bizarro Worldís territory workshop? If you have too many enemies, ask for a one-on-one. Sometimes, when
smoking in the freezing cold, Iíll push out too much air from my lungs because I canít tell when to stop exhaling. I like to
think this has something to do with Olson, with making a virtue of manifestos defending public property, parked cars &
 a compulsory hooking together for sex. As we all know, you can't fight two successful wars at once. Directing makes little
 difference. Still, even Mao managed to decimate his little army, earnestly implementing impossible programs, feasting
 & resting while they did their work. It wasn't a big surprise when you met most of their parents.

 

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Noah Eli Gordon lives in Denver, CO. More info is available here: www.noaheligordon.com