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SIXES AND SEVENS

                                                                                                           for Judith Rosebird

                                                                                          in memory of David Berman



Dear Judith, my father left before I

was born. Knowing very little

served me well. They say, I am The Author

but it’s lasting fabrications

for the lastly celebrated and the

forever unemployed. This is 

the last night in the pub—tossed out on our

much disappointed asses but 

happy to be alive, satisfied by 

the clock. And the wretched still live

in the whale of time, speeding through the whole

thing. Do you forgive me for what

I’ve not yet done? You’ll know more than we’ll give

you credit for. Bewildering 

to take it for so long. Eating the same

food that we eat. Hungry in the 

way other people are hungry.

A Jewish cowboy sings strangely to his

daughter. Flipping through pages of

excremental heat, in a pink bathroom—

having just ate rat. I would not

do it again. And authority has 

next to nothing to offer you. 

They’re busy selling their narcotics that 

work for only a little while.

Don’t cry in their bathrooms, better to go 

outside when you weep. Stay as far 

away from them as you possibly can.

My mother was under their hold 

and the real father did not stay silent.

My song for you is made from waste 

but it’s what I have to offer—shameless

as that may be. Ashamed with my

clothes badgering and begging the question:

live or die? Your mother’s song is

stronger. A weeping mother is a kind 

of divine cinema and the

familial call attached to a kingdom. 

Yes, my real father disappeared 

and yes, I once planned for execution

but he’s not to blame. His nightly 

humiliations are like ghosts without 

sheets. Love is an infinitely

conjured mirror. It would be ridiculous 

to posit against basic fact. 



But I am no founder. The trellises 

hold a mammoth weight on their backs.

Judith, remember the loving exchange.

So sayest the moot patriarch. 


Posted 09/04/19
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