from new poems from new york
"shoelace" [by Andrei Codrescu]
a real concern may turn out in a dream as “to be continued”
or make you sleep soundly for being common currency
splintering off café tables where free-lance shrinks
keep office spreading patter butter out of which “sex,”
the word, pops up at a higher or lower octave like a pigeon
pretending to ignore the fallen crumb of pizza shining nearby.
so that’s what you sound like, new york, no different than
you always sounded, though more at ease with pop-psych lingo,
and maybe less ability to tie your shoelace or another’s without talk.
In my absence you have acquired a lot of bla-blah underwear.
Newsprint and screens obscure “sex,” the thing not the word,
but what do I know? I can afford to be alone, deliciously alone,
and when I gain the street I am with others tripping over their
shoelaces to get to their café therapists where they can tie their
shoelaces together. Unless they are working for the city
with health benefits uppermost in mind. When these employees
want sex they pay for it. They wear work boots tightly laced.
Dear city, the same always, making twisted nothings and steel towers.
I spent time in america and I can feel your shoelace coming loose