08 May




The room that closes in

becomes a warm companion

along a Thursday daydream jaunty

moving like a jangling humidity

with the perpetual renovations of upstairs neighbors

the car alarms screaming of ignored peril outside

airplanes flying overhead in a rush to baggage claim

like weathered similes repeated in burdensome frustration.

I feel ignored, but not deservedly ignoble

when suddenly the phone rings

and it’s Tristan talking breathlessly

about a new critical essay on Fitzy’s ’36 Crack-Up

while I feel like he’s pushing me to drink

because needing a new one

is a sympathetic notion always

and it can further my resolve

to excuse myself from the conversation

with a promise of pressing work to do.

But, honestly

I’ll likely never write again at this point

just resign to spliff-induced creative hibernation

where when I wake

I’ll spruce up an aging sport coat

with leather elbow patches

the color of a raving jibber  

pack the growing sacks under my eyes with shitty instant coffee

and plenty of corroded ambition

then get up early, with grave finality

each successive day

to teach the next generation of disillusioned writers

with unmanageable bills

and unfulfilling love lives where any girl that’s ever clever

and has read a Dostoevsky passage or a Salinger short story in one of her mother’s old New Yorkers immediately becomes a haughty, if disaffected and capricious, muse – in a constant, redundant disavowal of something she’s never truly learned – she, as each one will, neatly step slightly and sing in a fickle, but feral, shriek.

Inveigling, consuming, and barely unattainable. Wild as the last page.

The brilliance of a pleading coda:

“I will try to be a correct animal though, and if you throw me a bone with enough meat on it I may even lick your hand” *   

with the fizzling liveliness

of a somber march to futile armament against a distant certainty

The room that’s closing in

which straggles from the door as a warm companion

and hangs around me

small and slow

and I smile getting off the phone

with “it’s not funny anymore, don’t sweep the character your shadow” still ringing in my ears

but getting on in time

with such a fine and pained expression

that only the matterless can muster it

the words walk away

leaving me sitting here 

almost satisfied.


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Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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