Sunday, September 30, 2012


the last three pay days i have not been paid on time
i have been paid at night when it is no good to me
when the bank is closed and when the next day is saturday
this is what it means to belong to a credit of union
it means that the bank is closed all weekend 
and their one ATM in town does not accept deposits
the reason i have not been paid on time was they fucked up the checks
and most were sent to columbus where i don't live
this is the third weekend i can remember
sitting on a burning slip of paper
waiting to cash in on $600 monday
eating almonds and almonds and almonds
and it's the most money i can ever remember
but it's still sunday and i'm still very poor
and $600 all of it for mine and not to share?
i try to remember father's advice on money
but i only see him showing me how to fold my pajamas underneath the pillow
(advice i still heed)
but nothing on money and on monday after work i go racing 
down to the main office for the check
tearing out of the parking lot
to deposit it before 5 and to buy dinner for us
an oncoming driver, a stranger disapproves
because people walk around here
but it's money driving and i only have 15 minutes

that night i fight with dylan and either lose or spend $50
we come out of the bar and fall into the grass wrestling
leah walks backwards over a utility stump and falls on the sidewalk
we were both embarrassed and she was having surgery on wednesday
i thought of all the times i had driven home drunk
i went to work half-drunker in the morning
and one of the clients said to me
"North Platte, the land of candy and coupons."

but then i find another paycheck in my box
and i can't believe it because that means even more money
when i go to the bank after work the cashier recognizes me
says, back so soon?
and i half-suspect she's pushing a red button underneath her
because the check was baited and i'm going away now
but she doesn't, she gives me the money i have more money now

being poor used to be my only incentive for frugality
what to spend the money on?
to fix my car that it can make it through the winter
without snow blowing through the unrolling window
or buy music gear because isn't this what i am pointing myself at
or to pay back all the people that i owe, companies and loan sharks
or to plan a trip and to sit in a new place and imagine i've never lived anywhere else
this much money cannot be saved
cannot be withheld in the idea of 'savings account'
nothing here will be accountable to anything else
it must be put out in the world
and some of it given away 
(I had a envelope marked "charity" but i spent it on grass)

it's like i told hudson
thinking thoughts is lonely because you're the only one there

Sunday, September 23, 2012


the first time
i heard the velvet underground
i could not understand the sounds
the understanding was far off from me
and i could see everyone waiting just through the gates
waiting for me to understand the velvet underground
to join them and i couldn't
what i could do was see it coming,
i could see the lights dimming
as just before carnal knowing
as just before the moment
'warm familiar'
when everything turns red
and adam says to you sit down
and when he lowers the lights
and everyone goes quiet
the song plays
the music keeps happening
the whole thing keeps going
but i would not have any of it until dawn
not until i was alone
listening with headphones at three in the morning
the body of the velvet underground approaching
my own vessel soon to collide
and off an improvised drum riff
in which the body of maureen "mo" tucker
overran itself and gave it away
the woman had no preclusions
the woman kept time as poorly as a drummer could
but no one could tell
her body had flown away
and no one knew that it was her anymore
she was never more of a stranger
and i was never aware of a gate.