We desire death in bookstores. Devour us for all time,
like a paperback Prometheus. But poetry? That’s what people
hope you don’t write when they hear of your scribbling.
Art by hand comes hard, then sells for nothing but a body’s
destruction. There’s love, but there’s no difference when you end used.
Surely, I spent too much time on my bio, back page blurb, seeking
a bestselling author’s photo: unblemished cheeks and bleached teeth.
Don’t work hard for bad art, it comes naturally, ecstatically. Know
you will be used: shelved to resell to loveless strangers browsing
for bargains: bushmen living on safari, hunting for a buck. Hasn’t
someone told them if they want to live, don’t do it off of books—
especially in the desert of writers no one knows—I am obscure, half price
but still worthless, sharing shelves, paper smell, set text on decayed trees.
Stiff but broken spines, I find myself for the first time, two for one, far
from Dr. Seuss, too close to Shakespeare.