Skip to main content
By David Yezzi

I don’t say things I don’t want to say

or chew the fat with fat cats just because.


With favor-givers who want favors back,

I tend to pass on going for the ask.


I send, instead, a series of regrets,

slip the winding snares that people lay.


The unruffledness I feel as a result,

the lank repose, the psychic field of rye


swayed in wavy air, is my respite

among the shivaree of clanging egos


on the packed commuter train again tonight.

Sapping and demeaning—it takes a lot


to get from bed to work and back to bed.

I barely go an hour before I’m caught


wincing at the way that woman laughs

or he keeps clucking at his magazine.


And my annoyance fills me with annoyance.

It’s laziness that lets them seem unreal


—a radio with in-and-out reception

blaring like hell when it finally hits a station.


The song that’s on is not the one I’d hoped for,

so I wait distractedly for what comes next.


Source: Poetry (November 2010)

Poet Bio

David Yezzi’s poetry collections include Azores (2008) and The Hidden Model (2003), and his criticism and poetry have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Best American Poetry. David Yezzi is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and received his MFA from Columbia University.

More Poems about Social Commentaries

Browse poems about Social Commentaries