11 February 2009

ross vassilev

The Fall of Rome, Again

it ain’t the 60s
but it’s still a damn
interesting time to
live in America

watching the Empire
exhaust itself like all
that came before it

going bankrupt
from overspending
on the military

even as the military
gets torn apart
like an over-worked
horse in Animal Farm

sending money to
support pro-American
dictators while the
the schools fall apart

the bridges collapse

and Black and
Mexican inmates kill
each other in
California prisons.

it’s like watching
John Wayne dying
from cancer.


i guess the greatest
fear of any poet
is having their work
laughed at.

telling a poet their
work sucks is one thing

but i think most poets
would rather line
people up against a wall
and open fire
than have their poetry
laughed at

especially young poets.

but then you turn 30
and say

fuck it

you couldn’t care less
if anyone likes it or not

cuz you like it

and that’s what matters

so you start sending
it all out

left and right, everywhere

like a monkey
throwing shit from a tree.

Time is a Flea Bite on My Leg

nothing worse than 10 poems
rejected in one day.

nothing worse than hungry stray cats.

nothing worse than some guy
begging on the street.

nothing worse than little girls
murdered like flowers
with their heads cut off.

nothing worse than a crazy mother—
feeling like i was just
kicked stomped spat on pissed on

as i wander the dark afternoon
streets with candy wrappers
in the gutters

and fuck it’s only Tuesday.

Left Behind

lying in bed
in the afternoon

turn tricks in cars

and teens walk
home from
school doped up
and glassy-eyed.

no one knows
what they’re
to accomplish
in this life

what “greater
purpose” there’s
supposed to be

i guess there’s
only dope and

and if you’re lazy
and/or broke

lying in bed
in the afternoon.

End of Days

we saw an old
homeless guy with
a slit in the back
of his pants

we laughed

we were kids

we thought it was

funny at the time

i don’t think it was
so funny now.

it was a chill windy
night in New York

Reagan was President
already senile

the first lady was
fucking Frank Sinatra

and consulting
on foreign policy.

we didn’t know it
at the time but
the Soviet Union
was on its last legs
and America was
only 20 years behind

and soon nothing
would be funny at all.

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