and it’s not about profit
some say it’s the smart people ain’t nice
now why is that?

Bukowski said go all the way
where the feasts are promised

I’ve lived with my mom
as the father of two girls
lived with bugs in places
so roach-infested they swarmed
everytime I made a pot of coffee
bankrupt, divorced, at 38 all my belongings
could fit in a Ford Fiesta on high interest–
that’s as far as I went and I still live
on an American diet

never cared about the money til I didn’t have it
then I saw a price to the poem
got a job as a civil servant
and began to repay my debts

all the time talking to myself though, figuring, keeping score:
8 books roughly 2600 pages around 750,000 words
I’m 39 now and that’s what I got
just about beat Shakespeare and
about half way to the big dogs of the last century–
need about 16 books roughly 5200 pages around 1.5 million words
Faulkner got there at 62
Hemingway, Steinbeck almost
and Kerouac burned like a Roman Candle–got there at 47…
but what does it profit a man?
what does it profit me?

a smart man knows
the measure of a man’s happiness
are the limits of others and
God wouldn’t it be nice if
someone just took a look at you
knew your soul with immeasurable
pity and love and understanding–
that’s what we want
to be loved for who we are

herein lies the catch
adjudicating cleverness
because something somewhere
made us all and who you are
to be loved we make ourselves

yes something somewhere made
all of us but without judgment
so that our victories and defeats are
at the hands of each other

and this all of this
merely to prove something
to prove how smart you are

and that’s about as dumb as it gets
the victories the defeats
makes you almost want to say:
ah the hell with it I’ll just get fat
and sing the blues…

the truth is we all want something sacred
I’ll be 40 soon
and whatever made and loved and pitied me
keep me from touching it any further