The other thing I dipped into yesterday was some more Kim Addonizio. She and Charles Bukowski remain my favourites. I think they would both struggle to get published in the UK today. They weren’t sufficiently concerned about the academic heritage of poetry, which seems to be the “in thing”.
I like them because they are as bad as me, if not worse.
The thing (or one of the things) I disliked about internet dating was the endless distrust and dissection, the constant feeling of being weighed up. I felt like a slave on the block being inspected; tape measures whipped from the pockets of matriarchs pursing their lips and totting up points in their heads. No man likes to be evaluated so coarsely.
How big is your kitchen?
Such considerations freeze me over. Turn me into a statue in the park with pigeons nibbling my feet and crapping on my head. Caution deadens me. Recklessness incites and invites me. I complain, of course. Long and loud at times, about the consequences of who I am, the fallout of the beauty and savagery of my humanity.
I imagine meeting dear Kim in the back bar of Plutos and spilling a beer over a table with her. Of allowing my natural attraction to her whirlwind run free and bring out the best and the worst in me.
I want to stumble into the woman who wrote:
Look at you, sitting there being good.
After two years you’re still dying for a cigarette.
And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
Don’t you want to run to the corner right now
for a fifth of vodka and have it with cranberry juice
and a nice lemon slice, wouldn’t the backyard
that you’re so sick of staring out into
look better then, the tidy yard your landlord tends
day and night – the fence with its fresh coat of paint,
the ash-free barbecue, the patio swept clean of small twigs –
don’t you want to mess it all up, to roll around
like a dog in his flower beds? Aren’t you a dog anyway,
always groveling for love and begging to be petted?
You ought to get into the garbage and lick the insides
of the can, the greasy wrappers, the picked-over bones;
you ought to drive your snout into the coffee grounds.
Ah, coffee! Why not gulp some down with four cigarettes
and then blast naked into the streets, and leap on the first
beautiful man you find? The words Ruin Me, haven’t they
been jailed in your throat for forty years, isn’t it time
you set them loose in slutty dresses and torn fishnets
to totter around in five-inch heels and smeared mascara?
Sure it’s time. You’ve rolled over long enough.
Forty, forty-one. At the end of all this
there’s one lousy biscuit, and it tastes like dirt.
So get going. Listen, they’re howling for you now:
up and down the block your neighbours’ dogs
burst into frenzied barking and won’t shut up.