For You, For Tonight, or Help is On the Way

I’m reading tomorrow night with my friend Joanna Herman ¬†at Book Culture, near Columbia. It seemed like a good idea to write a new poem.

Easier to talk about

almost anything my sex life, mother

anything Jewish

than it is to talk about my own writing.

You might want to know why. Yesterday, practicing for tomorrow,

Peter and I sat under an old railroad bridge on the river

in Astoria, a place that is really and truly a poem, and he said

maybe words are just harder

than pictures.

Some people want facts alongside

their words. I don’t know any facts

even how tall I am

make up all facts and then

they’re not facts. They’re poems.

Noguchi’s house across the road

from Costco, in Queens. Is that a fact?

Is that a poem?

Many years ago who knows how many

psychiatrist named Arlene she

wanted me to talk more about writing. Not my mother.

Go home she said. Write a bad sentence.

Then tell me. I spent a whole week

writing bad sentences. This was my favorite: Spot

was the only name I could think of for our dog.

It’s never hard to write

sentences. What’s really and truly hard

is to give my sentences to you.