Autobiography in 7 Parts


What happens to a poem
when you take away
the biographical elements?
I think about fucking too often, and it shows
in my poems. It shows in the lines:
“Two chicks on my big feral fruit”
“Sustained on your ripening clit”
“Shit, this isn’t what I expected” 

I also smoke too much weed
(3 times this
and I don’t mind.
It helps to connect the dots of my ideas
into a disorderly portrait of myself
if I were a dragon.
Since I breathe an awful lot of fire,
I guess I am. 

I would love to drop acid again soon,
I don’t want to eat mushrooms,
the kind that make you
get lost in a forest full of singing trees
and swinging pendulums of raindrops
that remind you
“It’s your 25th birthday.
Now, the world expects results.
So go out and produce results.”
It’s no fun to be lost
in the forest
with a joint in your jacket pocket,
afraid of park rangers
on horseback
who just know you’re out of your mind. 

It is fun, however, to tour the country
in a rickety van from 1984 named Orwell
with your band wishing
you could do this forever.
But then you run out of good songs, 

so you take to
writing poetry and wishing
you could have dinner with Frank O’Hara.
But he’s dead, and so is William Burroughs.
Ted Berrigan is also dead,
and Gregory Corso, and Amiri Baraka,
but John Ashbery isn’t.
So there’s still time for me!

Thank God.
Scratch that.
Atheists can’t thank God
or Brahman or Allah or whatever you call it.
So who do I thank? Darwin?
For what?  I like his theory,
but it doesn’t do me any good now.
Richard Dawkins?
I hear he’s a prick,
and besides,
he turns Atheism into a religion,
which defeats the purpose.

I’ll thank Nietzsche instead
for filling my head
with grand delusions
about becoming an Ubermensch,
restoring faith in the Earth,
even though all I do
is smoke weed, fuck, and read.

-r. miller


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