sundry goods

To Johnny Beaver

a poem begins
like everything else
with a desire
not to be
and like everything else
it exists always
(whether or not

it is written
or unwritten
pronounced or silent
a poem is borne of pain
and like all pain
it persists
until it achieves

its effect
through stanzas
line counts
nights of drinking
without result
and yanking
of the proverbial chain

an insane amount
of thought means
only that you'll be
late to work that morning
by a couple of minutes
you'll stay

where you were
you'll start
putting two and two
always getting the
same result
iterating deeper and

in the oily pores
of you skin
you'll see a pattern
in the cum stain
on your shirt
a millenial prophecy

in the water on
the floor
and you'll ask questions
and you'll be surprised
when you get the answer
to every one