The following is an excerpt from Andrew Weatherhead’s new book-length poem, $50,000. It is available now from Publishing Genius.

Order a copy here.

 

 

The intercom’s paging someone named Ned Spaghetti 

 

 

Streetlights flicker on Church Avenue

 

 

Distance sweeps through the city like a plague

 

 

The wind stops, but the clouds keep moving

 

 

My face hurts from frowning again

 

 

I’m having obvious feelings…

 

 

Mike Tyson: “All of my heroes were truly miserable bastards, and I emulated them my whole career”

 

 

It feels like I’m floating, but I know I’m not

 

 

Dreams of total narcissism and self-involvement

 

 

Google searches for emotions, feelings, bars near me

 

 

Rivers that never reach the sea

 

 

Constant fear is the natural state of man—a path from the real to the abstract

 

 

Gavrilo Princip finishes his sandwich, steps outside, and assassinates the Archduke Franz Ferdinand

 

 

World War I begins

 

 

World War I ends

 

 

Trees rustle overhead

 

 

Time is a jelly—it wooshes

 

 

I walk quickly past Café Mogador

 

 

Friends of friends haunt me

 

 

Lunch meat drives me insane

 

 

Cus D’Amato: “The hero and the coward feel the same thing”

 

 

Vi Khi Nao: “My soul is a cul-de-sac”

 

 

Everyone else’s problems seem worse

 

 

So I go home and go to sleep

 

 

More symptom than cause

 

 

The night like a polished stone

 

 

The augmented 4th between the fridge and the microwave

 

 

While melody tenderizes your pathetic soul…

 

 

Before enlightenment, worry about not being enlightened

 

 

After enlightenment, worry about not being enlightened

 

 

So what if it wasn’t love—

 

 

Cats don’t really have nine lives

 

 

Planet Fitness isn’t really a planet

 

 

Words are spiders

 

 

They string us along

 

 

The future and the past compete for regrets

 

 

And purgatory is the best I can hope for

 

 

Dominions of beige and fluorescent light

 

 

Long, thin fingers from behind the partition

 

 

The poem sneaks up on you

 

 

The bus driver just laughs

 

 

Alone in my room, it’s like the world must appear—

 

 

Art and money… particle and wave… being and nothingness…

 

 

Watching football with roommates, I had no idea how to respond to the news that G.’s baby was born prematurely

 

 

I typed “Congrats!!!” before editing it to “Congrats!”

 

 

The pipes clang with abandon

 

 

Seagulls go “ga!”

 

 

Ralph knocks on the door

 

 

But I’m at work

 

 

Clicking here, clicking there

 

 

Drawing things to scale

 

 

Things like wonder, my salary, a notion of the world in which I am valued

 

 

Unable to differentiate between what I said and what I wanted to say

 

 

Another book falls off the shelf through no force but its own

 

 

Joy Williams: “One of the great secrets of life is learning to live without being happy”

 

 

And no lie in the world can help

 

 

 

Andrew Weatherhead is the author of the poetry collections Cats and Dogs (Scrambler Books, 2014) and Todd (Monster House Press, 2018). He lives in New York City and used to work in health insurance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *