A Quick One Before I Go
There comes a time in every man's life when he thinks: I have never had a single original thought in my life including this one & therefore I shall eliminate all ideas from my poems which shall consist of cats, rice, rain baseball cards, fire escapes, hanging plants red brick houses where I shall give up booze and organized religion even if it means despair is a logical possibility that can't be disproved I shall concentrate on the five senses and what they half perceive and half create, the green street signs with white letters on them the body next to mine asleep while I think these thoughts that I want to eliminate like nostalgia 0 was there ever a man who felt as I do like a pronoun out of step with all the other floating signifiers no things but in words an orange T-shirt a lime green awning
Reprinted from The Evening Sun with the permission of Scribner. Copyright © 2002 by David Lehman. First appeared in Boston Review. All rights reserved.