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After hibernating all winter,
the car stereos woke up for the summer,
while inside I speak the language of the dubbed
and wear a soft hat to my battles,
which is a bit like being hired at the same store
where you got caught shoplifting
or maybe it’s a speed trader exploiting
delays in the system.
Drawing a monkey 100 different ways
means you’re a realist
or secretly obsessed with laser-hair removal.
Besides, a crush is supposed to be confusing,
just as it might not be the world we want,
but it’s the one we got,
and that’s called public policy by another name
after the fathers who teach the arts of self-defeat.
I’ve changed a flat tire while drunk
and that’s saying something.
I mean, life is complicated,
like ex-cheerleaders I’ve dated,
and the fact that whisky looks a lot like ice tea.
Certain kinds of salad dressings can be used
as smelling salts in an emergency,
such as pausing to sit on a park bench
along the path of most resistance
where the sun rises over
both the war zones and gardens.
The slow loris might be nocturnal,
but it wants to come out and play.
Some of this never happened
and is otherwise subject to revision.
One fang is for blood, one is for oil
in the sharp gnaw of addiction.
Yet this couch is so comfortable
and this TV hypnotic,
reminding me that I’m glad there’s music
for twelve-year-old girls and ringtone rap for me.
More and more, the signals are sent
straight from my computer,
although it doesn’t explain driving into the middle
of a wheat field.
It’s better than sitting with the killers.
Now I’m on a train.
This was supposed to be a love poem,
but everything else got in the way.
That’s okay—it’s still a love poem.
This poem is part of BR’s special package celebrating National Poetry Month.
Alan Gilbert is the author of two books of poetry, Late in the Antenna Fields and The Treatment of Monuments, as well as a collection of essays, articles, and reviews entitled Another Future: Poetry and Art in a Postmodern Twilight.
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