[a. If I Were a Rich Manuel] These book shelves can’t hold up what you know. The translated stacks of canoned Greek get kicked from ‘neath the pendent feet. We hang together cheek to cheek and wonder why the bushel’s all aglow. The bad seeds still find a way to grow. The parables for the seminar; the Kaddish for the secular; the heavy handed metaphors, and the doctor says the limb has got to go. Periphrasis insists it’s eloquence. The stutter and bruised lower lip; the last words on the first French kiss; in the bluest eyes, the vision quits, but don’t the glasses make me look intelligent? The learned prose construes the way we speak. The boldness and the honesties all absent in the humanities, and yet Mickey did the “Miss You,” and Craigy did the “Lonely,” and Patty did the “Part III,” so what the fuck about me?
[b. Prescription Drugs, Part II] When was I beleaguered? When was I enchained? When was I dismembered? Did they burn what remained? When did Dad hit me? When did I feel duress? Did the milk of human kindness run dry at the breast? When did all those who care decide they could not care less? Was it the heel on the throat that began to depress? Were the people all giants? Was the prose too overt? Was I glaring, disgusting, a stain on a shirt? Or was it just teenage angst that I never outgrew? (Pillows placed in the windows; hair shorn and shampooed.) And like a stray dog that follows one home from school, I fed and I fostered it ‘til it replaced you. My heart is yr heart, but the beating is softer. (We rise to such heights to be dropped out of helicopters.) My heart is yr heart, but the beating is softer. (The filth in the food and the ash in the water.) My heart is yr heart, but the beating is softer. (This awful awareness I’d give to a daughter.) My heart is yr heart, but the beating is softer. My heart is yr heart, but the beating is softer.