Today, I read of scientists’ warnings
about the potential dangers of sex
robots and thought of you. Some blame
the rise of right-wing populism
on postmodern windbags like you, holed
up in your university office, giving head
to your shadow. But Jean, you were right—
we are living in the desert of the real,
where signs metastasize like cancer cells,
and who hasn’t felt the Foucauldian
grip around her wrists, her ankles?
Even desire a simulacrum of itself.
I drowned in you as if in a frozen lake,
but either I or the lake was dreaming.
Poem in the Manner of the Year in Which I Was Born
Little poem, you are too young to remember the smoking gun, the con man on TV who looked like a supervillain, or the hominid skeleton dug up in Africa and given the name of your childhood dog. You never heard a word about the IRA bombings, nor did The Texas Chainsaw Massacre terrorize your sleep. Having no use for money, you do not understand the concept of stagflation, nor did you marvel at the satellite images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. How much you have missed in the span of half a century! I want to swaddle you in yesterday’s headlines and send you back down the river, no wiser than the day you came blaring into the world.