The sands of time are like
those calendar pages one watches
burning in old newsreels
to signify our transcience.
Or they are like
the pages of a journal
that a petulant teenager
destroys, one by one,
before he locks and loads
and heads for the mall.
Or they are like
the beauty of Linda Rosenberg
as she shrivels a little more
each day in her desolate
cell of an office.
What sorry lives
these mortals live.
Last night, after we'd had a long tete-a-tete,
God gave me permission to go mad. I must say
He's taken His time. He and Satan have had
this long-standing bet, nothing like the game
they played with Job, almost the reverse.
God's idea was the old no-atheists-in-foxholes
gambit: if He could make my life enough of an ordeal,
I would finally break down and pray to him.
Satan, loyal friend that he is, said no,
I'd survive with just my sense of humor
and a modicum of intelligence. Well,
I won't go through my trials again--
C's death, the eviction notion, followed by
the destruction of my Barryville house
(the latest word on that is that the big ell
of the kitchen must be torn down, utterly;
which will cost more to rebuilt than the house did
originally) and the continuing withering
of my career. The latest loss
in that department was just two days ago
when the new love of my live, my Dulcinea,
Linda Rosenberg, whom I alone in all the world
thought to be comely (despite her age), rejected
the Introduction I had written, at her behest,
to the Poems of Allen Tate. Yes, him,
our home-grown, cap-and-gown Pound.
I'd sunk so low, and this has been,
Linda's poisoned kiss, my just reward.
She is a minion of Galassi's at Farrar Straus Giroux,
and I knew that Galassi, as an old crony
of Bob Gottlieb, but I had thought--
Oh, enough excuses. My stupidity was
to have emailed the Intro to my beloved Linda
before I'd got the signed contracts back,
so FSG could fuck me over royally.
Linda refuses, as such women will, even to email me
now that that she has my severed head
in a basket at her feet on which to lavish
her necrophile carresses.
And yet I love her still.
Kick my teeth in, Linda, ravish me.
God wants you to, and so does this poor fool for love!
More to come shortly.
The day had almost gone by,
and dusk descended
when I realized I'd not attended
Love's shrine and tagged it with
our initials interknit--
T.M.D. and L.S.R--
a Timid beau and the Loser he adore.
We will be Valentines forevermore!