This isn’t how I hoped I’d live my life,
as the phone blares disco beats.
The iPhone starts to shake
with a wheezed malevolence. Deep breath.
Slap down a groping hand.
Toilet. Toothbrush. Shower. Shave.
Each civilized demand
feels like a move toward life itself, as warmth
courses through the veins.
Our motor systems push against
the obvious refrains
of too much work and far too little sleep
and barely getting by
on what I make for what I owe.
There’s only so much pie
in a given chart, and past one hundred
it doesn’t quite add up,
another blend of coffee, but
in someone else’s cup.
Fuzz out the numbers and the equals signs,
forget the integers—
the positives and negatives—
north-south, or his-and-hers.
Breakfast. I can almost feel my face,
and then my sense of smell
returns with yogurt and tea with milk.
I guess it’s just as well
that once again it’s fall, and the humidity
is slightly less oppressive.
The fan’s on “low” beside my bed.
I think I look impressive
heading down the street in chelsea boots,
a vintage leather tie,
slim-cut trousers, French-cuffed sleeves,
and hair in my right eye,
though texturized and separated out
by an expensive trim.
The slim-cut jacket’s double-vented.
Some quixotic whim
insists upon a pocket square. We take
the time because we must
to indicate the place we are,
the people whom we trust.
So off to the bodega for a cup of sludge
WMD in taste.
It makes me feel alive.
As I head toward Lorimer, the sun
is heating up my back.
It’ll get hot, but not quite yet.
I pick up the slack
pace I’d set myself as Wallabout
angles toward the west.
Cut left on Bedford, right on Park.
I’ll spare you all the rest.
Suffice it to say that I arrive on time,
take the elevator
to my office, and prepare
for classes slightly later
in the day. And as the screen comes on
(arthritically, of course),
I think about the coming week
and hope to fuck “the Force
is with me,” at least for a little while.
(Click on the file, then print.)
Thirteen hours till I’m in bed.
(The toner’s almost spent.)
Head downstairs and off to class.
Here goes another day
of rattling off points I-V
pretending I’m okay.