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I Could Have Been More Wrong Front Cover
Selected Poems from "I Could Have Been More Wrong"

 

 

The Struggle Is Real

Smash the fascist regime all you want, dear,

but can it wait until tomorrow?

I’ve had some hassles and some setbacks

and that’s added to the general weight of sorrow

 

I carry with me like a psychic sack.

Today, I’m a little tired from the weekend

since I had some trouble with the Audi.

There’s a rattling from the front-end.

 

Well, I was driving back from the city

all ready to take some time off and march today,

but there was some kind of pinging from the engine

and I’ve got to drive down to the Cape on Saturday

 

so I’ve got to take it to the shop

and deal with the usual unctuous perfidy

from the mechanic, plus at yoga Friday

I think I did something to my knee.

 

I know that this is the time to fight back—

I told my students that just last week.

We’ve set aside our entire syllabus.

It’s time to head out to the streets.

 

And I’ll be there, I will, in a day or two,

but would you like to go to a restaurant tonight?

There’s a new Laotian place that’s just opened.

We comrades should eat before we fight

My Sinecure

It’s years of work and I’ve attained

a precious sinecure.

In return for minor pains

and slights, my lifestyle’s assured

 

and though I have to work for fools

I cannot be deterred.

Don’t make waves—that’s my one rule;

let not the pot be stirred.

 

I used to be a lion bold,

you should have heard me grrr,

but I’m a cat now that I’m old—

I roll and loll and purr.

 

Set me aside with comments smooth—

your damned disdain is clear—

just so as you do not remove

my precious sinecure.

 

Activity! activity!

Let action be your spur;

for that is the proclivity

of you young managers.

 

But leave me useless on the bench—

the game seems such a blur!—

for I’d be just a monkey wrench

dropped in your spinning gears.

 

I know why this caged bird sings,

why flight holds no allure.

My mind is on just one thing,

my precious sinecure.

 

 

I Could Have Been More Wrong

More wrong you said I could not be—

that I was just about as wrong

as wrong can get when it’s been freed

to wander forth, clad in a thong,

 

through crowds of proper folk, and prim,

who only do what’s decorous

and never indulge untoward whims

or do anything treacherous.

 

But I’m not one to genuflect—

like some ephebic cup-bearer—

before the merely incorrect,

the mild mistake, the malformed error,

 

for—buoyed by new stupidity—

my gaffes will climb like a King Kong

ascending to flawed apogees

to show I could have been more wrong.

 

Your words, become a kind of dare,

can’t be undone. And though you claim

I’ve misconstrued, I just don’t care.

An archer with the blindest aim

 

could never miss a target more

than I who’ve lashed myself, distraught,

to the mast—a mixed metaphor—

and await, thus tied, the ship’s next stop—

 

against sharp rocks or o’er the falls

to drop, a wrong-headed sailor

who heard something like Cthulhu’s call,

which beckons fools to eldritch terrors,

 

though it isn’t fright that shapes my quest.

My ineptitude will be your curse.

Each mistake will outdo the last,

as monsoons drown a drought-caused thirst.

 

At each deluge you might wonder—

as Cheech was oft surprised by Chong—

as my storming screw-ups thunder,

whether I could have been more wrong.

 

My Friend Zuckerberg

He knows what I had for breakfast

and what I had for lunch,

he knows my favorite movie star—

it’s more than just a hunch.

 

He knows my favorite TV show—

it is The Brady Bunch—

and my favorite soft drink—

I like Hawaiian Punch!

 

How does he know? How does he know?

Have I been overheard?

No, I shared everything myself

with my friend Zuckerberg.

 

I told him all my deep secrets,

what I dream at night,

all my slightly offbeat fantasies

of elves dressed up in tights.

 

I told him all my politics—

he knows just how I lean.

He knows if I am left or right

of the arithmetic mean.

 

How does he know? How does he know?

Have I been overheard?

No, I shared everything myself

with my friend Zuckerberg.

 

And not only does he know,

he guides me in my thought

by sending me special stories

that are uniquely wrought

 

to influence my demographic

to move towards the extreme.

He knows our will is plastic—

we’re just living for a meme.

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