I WROTE THIS POEM THAT MENTIONS FACEBOOK AND AFTER IT GETS PUBLISHED SOMEWHERE I WILL PUT IT ON FACEBOOK AND THEN ONE DAY MY LIFE WILL CHANGE

by ...

Jonathan Ball

 

Let’s write a fucking poem!
You know what should be in it?
Desperation!

Maybe someone will read this poem!
Maybe someone important will read it,
like the president,
who I heard used to write poems
back in his college days, back
when he had nothing better to do
and his eyes still showed a spark of human life.

Maybe this poem will change my life.
I’ll put it up on Facebook and you will like it,
and then “like” it, and the president will “like” it,
even though he didn’t really like it, it just seemed
like the political thing to do. Then one day, months from now,
when my daughter does her Facebook chores,
she will “like” it and I will finally be happy.

I’m writing this poem on the bus, while missing my daughter.
In the seat next to me, some guy is doing kung fu.
That’s my life. Now it’s in a poem!
Now he’s in the poem, even if he doesn’t want to be.

Poems don’t have time for ethics,
but maybe they are ethics. Or escapes from ethics.
Sit on that one for a while! What are the ethics of a kung fu chop?
I hope he doesn’t lean over to read this screen, and
I don’t have to find out. If all the poets had to write
on buses, because they have three jobs, and have to travel
from job to job, so that they can afford bus fare to travel
between jobs, then we would have less poems.
I mean fewer poems, but also lesser poems.
Lesser poems, about how gardening’s a metaphor for life.

In my garden, there are beets I don’t have time to pick and eat.
I don’t have time, and my wife won’t let me.
She says they will keep just fine. The frost, when it comes,
won’t harm them. She’s sick of eating beets and sick of what they do
to your piss, and anyways (in Winnipeg, we say anyways, not anyway)
why can’t we just pave the garden over and rent it as a parking space
and then buy food instead of growing food?
The store beets are bigger and cheaper and less work.
These garden beets, which I don’t even eat, are just another job.

Actually, it’s her garden and that’s what I say. It’s not a metaphor.
We don’t cotton to metaphors around here, in this poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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