Poetry is the hardest thing


Not knowing how poetry went any more
or even if I’d ever had it
I went out to get drunk.

Vodka sharpens the mind
like a pencil.

Looking around for words
is like following garage sale signs
the day after.
Everything’s already
in other people’s houses.


I don’t feel too good today.
Poetry pouring out of me
like a wound, won’t dry up.

I remember words
and a leaving, with the radio
still telling the news.

Graham Greene said
happiness was hard.
I paraphrase and say that
we are most ourselves
when we are sad.

Cup after cup of hot water,
the bell ringing below me,
shaking the house about like a heart.

It’s that time of the day
when everyone else thinks about home
and I write.

From Love in a Bookstore or Your Money Back