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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wrongful Birthday Suit, part II

I wrote a short poem this morning before going to work... I thought it was finished, but while I was sitting there in court watching all these bitter child-support disputes while I waited for the case I was translating for to come up, my brain started spewing what seemed like an endless supply of verses. One couple started fighting in front of the judge and had to be sent to sit down; another guy had to be asked to stop calling the judge "you guys," as though she individually represented the entire justice system... and all because none of them could remember to put on a condom. So here it is, in all its crescendoing, hysterical rejection of this mortal coil...


I hate being sober
I hate being drunked
I hate being captain
I hate being punked

I hate the cold
and I hate the bright sun
I hate getting started,
I hate being done;

I hate being alive
but I'm sure death is worse
All human existence
is simply a curse.

I hate being certain,
I hate being confused
It's too frickin' seldom
I'm very amused

I hate being naked
I hate wearing clothes
I hate all this stuffed-up shit inside my nose
I hate having jobs
but I hate being broke;
It kills you to do nice things like drink and smoke.

Women are mental
And men are disgusting
And rare's the example of either
Worth trusting

And if you should find one
They'll likely soon croak
Or someone will tell you they're dead
For a joke

Life starts with an ass-smack
then hustle and tussle;
My knee hurts, my tooth broke,
I have a sore muscle.

'Twas vile being young,
Now I'm scared to grow old
I might be attacked
And both my kidneys sold.

My job terrifies me,
My BA is worthless;
I hate a buffoon
Just as I hate the mirthless.

Employment is slavery --
Go ask the Greeks.
I just lay in bed with swine flu
for two weeks.

Wherever I go
I can smell a big rat;
My friends will all die some day
As will my cat.

Most people are hypocrites,
When they aren't rude;
Hunger's unpleasant,
And so is most food.

There's rape, plague, and boredom,
There's losing your mom,
And seven new nations this week
Got the bomb.

Misery en masse
is from time to time faddish;
Here are ten starving Slovaks
Dividing a radish.

There's loneliness, child abuse,
Tenement halls,
Plus the time that you e-mailed
And hit 'send to all.'

There's biting a sandwich
And tasting the mold,
There's watching Brett Favre get insane
And grow old.

You might lose your mind
And you could lose your pension;
There's helplessness, hopelessness,
Water retention,

There's nothing on TV
'cept medical dramas
Recalling unpleasantly
All of your traumas.

Bad writers, bad painters,
Bad singers, bad mimes,
Get rich and well-known
While you haven't a dime;

The masses might coat you
With feathers and tar,
But we'll all see a squirrel
Smashed under a car.

There's your growing stack
Of form rejection letters,
There's crying for weeks
And still not feeling better;

You've struggled for decades
And still aren't the best;
There's that scary sensation again
in your chest.

A friend stole the love
Whom you blindly adored;
cut corners, mass layoffs,
And beer that's short-poured

There's trouble with teachers,
the law, and the mob,
There's glimpsing a mirror
And seeing a slob.

Too few public toilets,
And all of them stink,
The person before you
Heaved up in the sink.

There are beatings and balding
And herpes and farts;
The camera killed most
Of the visual arts.

There's paperwork, busywork,
Shitwork, and gout,
There's lying, castration,
A surfeit of louts;

There's finding out there's
No such thing as the Force;
There's child support after
Your grisly divorce.

There's delayed retirement,
The failure of plans,
The sudden appearance
Of IRS vans,

That person who follows
Too close on the stair,
Hearing a noise
When no one should be there,
Being the only one not in a pair,
And fathers whose answer is
"Life isn't fair"...

There's perjury, penury,
Pissants and dearth,
And the number one cause of our death
Is still birth.

So think before you take your ass
Off the pill;
Your offspring might not wish to wait
For your will.


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  3. The stanza beginning "Women are mental | And men are disgusting" and the one following it really remind me of Stevie Smith. Little flashes of her moods here--I think it's the selfconsciously off-kilter rhythms.

  4. I laughed out loud at:

    "Here are ten starving Slovaks
    Dividing a radish."

    Vivid. Specific. Inspired.

    The rest of it makes for pretty evocative reading, too.

    It's been ages since I wrote similar (and I suppose the same applies for you, seeing as this is five years old).


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