My poetry is moving in the wrong direction,
and even though it means being less than the myth
I'm not writing as well anymore.
I'm ruined, a landscape crumbling
in a dismal space
by you wise ones
you stupid bums
every scar you give
gives me reason to dig through the rubble
and find what hatred creates is gentle and great
to the rat at the center of the universe.
In the middle of an empty rooftop parking lot
I smoke a cigarette, as light from the helicopter
overhead descends. Below in the crevasse
a black man cashed in on the value
of liquor in a brown paper bag and chatted it up
with a corner trash can.