I’m Sorry. You Have the Wrong Number

It’s true, I may as well confess,
That most dead people I do not miss,
And I am further remiss in this,
That many living I will not kiss.
I don’t love everybody, damn it.
A man must love within his limit.
Against love’s collectivization,
I propose love’s specification.
When you’re out of intimacy’s range,
It is most cordial to be strange.
You Might as Well Enjoy It

Forgive me.
I am taking, I fear,
an indelicate pleasure
in contemplating my funeral,
the last public event
I will attend.
Farewell forever
to the forever regrettable
crowd scenes. Hello
to my grandfathers
who aged gratefully
into uncontestable reasons
never to leave home.
At Last a Good Excuse

Sensible as I am
of the honor conveyed
by your invitation
I cannot accept
because I am dead
A Ghost, Almost

Is it that I am a spirit
who returns from time
to time to be embodied
by you? Gimme a hug!
April Incarnation


Suddenly the north wind
blowing for days is
made visible by snow.
Green and white
are the new leaves now.

It is the present that always
will confound the enumerators.
It is the is that always was.
However small they divide it,
it still can be divided.

We go backwards
into time, seeing only
the little we remember
of the way we have come.

I am an active member
of the Slow Communication Movement,
relying to the extent possible
on words thought out, to be sent
by the postal service, slow
and late but fast enough.
For most things humans have said,
slow has been plenty fast.
Slow to Go is our motto,
though our officers, expectably,
have resorted to computers because
of the need for speed, the great
importance of all they say,
and the urgency of the situation.
The Faithful

They are hungry
and food is cheap
though land is dear.
For how long may
the ignorant eat?
They have faith
and they are fed
while farmers fail
and the land is bought
by absentees
who couldn’t grow
from a whole planet
one potato.
Their Position

They went to school
To be well-positioned.
They think the weather
Is air-conditioned.

Our Christ the holy capitalist
Holds all creation in His fist.
Who does not hesitate to trifle
Before the crosshairs of His rifle?
Who will dare not to repent
Under His threat to raise the rent?
Let all the nation sing His praise
In clockwork measure of our days.

How could Wes Jackson and I,
who live so far apart,
have become close friends
without the burning of fossil fuels
that we both so much regret?
A Way With Pollution

Gnats in my whiskey?
I drank them and thus
I purified my drink.

Having clapped a mosquito
out of the present world,
I suffer a morsel of regret.
She was a nuisance but beautiful,
remarkably like her mother.