Poirier – Friday Afternoon

With all this free time
I was going to write a novel
about a middle-aged man
whose idealism had gotten
infiltrated—in the same way
that Sharia law
is infiltrating
the civic body of Michigan—
by hysterical anxiety
over his kids’ safety
and a disgust
an art which
had stolen away
his youth—but why
had it locked
the savage pug in the hot car?
After many days of not having
a cigarette
I found I wanted one—
I had a trick:
this man would be much older
and “looking back” over a series
of events that hadn’t exactly
worked out,
but then on the walk
home I decided
once again
that I had no desire to write
a novel, which might take
a thousand hours
better spent
with my wife and kids
and doing
all sorts of other things, any-
thing but writing
a fucking novel no one
asked me to write, I wasn’t
crazy enough, whereas I was
crazy enough to write a poem
—it’s what dogs do! as
someone said
and the short
lines are, potentially, more
to someone who hasn’t made up
her mind
about me yet , — !
because I’ve always wanted
people to not be able to get
enough of what I have to say
and though I used
to love myself
and now only tolerate my presence
I have more to say
and can write better than I used to.