I didn’t think you could see
this, me, yes ma’am,
the bagman famine,
a diet looking up and down,
up and down each street
I live on, posing everywhere
to spot the innocents,
no worse than a gardener
working his dirt,
seeing shoots where none poke yet,
a pornographic horticulture.
I’m wound like a color wheel tonight
and have to watch it,
turned back by the laws of window light . . .
Officers—Jesus—the cuffs are tight.
In the walled yard there
we sunk my mother’s mother
six deep in a soil crate, a long square.
In a black blazer
like a tree leans on air.
We are all bad men here.
Mr. Right’s brain is a barnyard,
he has embarrassing friends,
even Keats slept abed above monsters
after writing to Fanny Brawne.
Love, pauper’s ticket and the king’s risk,
is subject to trends:
nobody’s healthy, our best comics call in sick.
Yet even then ironic men too smart
to flinch at love will slip and take a beating
in the heart, however smudged or fleeting
was the thought. Madonna, I’m sharp,
I leer at love, I toggle.
Madonna, can you be bothered
to come now and ogle
my rubber heart?