By Michael Derrick Hudson
To think I used to be so good at going to pieces
gobbling my way through the cops
and spooking what’s left of the girls. How’d I
get so far, sloughing off one knuckle at a time,
jerking my mossy pelt along
ruined streets? Those insistent, dreadful thuds
when we stacked our futile selves
against locked doors. Our mumbles and groans!
Such hungry nights! Staggering through the grit
of looted malls, plastered with tattered
flags of useless currency, I’d slobbered all over
the busted glass and merchandise of America …
But first you’ll have to figure out those qualities
separating what’s being alive from
who’s already dead. Most of you will flunk that.
Next learn how to want one thing over and over,
night after night. Most of you
are good at that. Don’t get tired. Don’t cough
into your leftovers. Don’t think. Always stand
by your hobgoblin buddies. Clutch
at whatever’s there. Learn to sniff out sundowns.
Source: Poetry (March 2015)
More Poems about Living
We gathered in a field southwest of town,
several hundred hauling coolers
and folding chairs along a gravel road
dry in August, two ruts of soft dust
that soaked into our clothes
and rose in plumes behind us.
By noon we could discern their massive coils
How to Triumph Like a Girl
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
But mainly, let’s be honest,...