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

ROMANS/SNOWMARE

By Cam Scott

Poem

 

[ROMANS/SNOWMARE is a potentially interminable life-poem, to which I add at least one sentence every day. The earliest layers of this project appear in a book of the same name, ROMANS/SNOWMARE, published by ARP Books in 2019, from which the first of these texts is excerpted. ROMANS/SNOWMARE is available in the United States from AK Press.]

 

ROMANS. Do faces have headlights, or windows? I’ve never slept the night before a trip, too busy planning about packing. Dark chocolate parching, an excellent source of magnesium. The stream of everlasting life is owned by Nestle, too. What’s on tap in the master bathroom? I’m so thirsty I could suck a faucet. If we’re going to have to suffer anyway, why wait? One must life equal parts in heaven and on earth. Is freedom a state or a road? “The law does not construct a subject who simply and unequivocally has a desire, but one who rejects its desire, who wants not to desire it.” Her dad was a cop or something. There were bagpipes at the funeral, no one wept. I’m a vicarious sensualist, lingering near second-hand smoke as one might have loitered at the mall. All atmosphere is lightly used. Nothing originates. Made with natural flavours, derived from natural sources. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, bus depot Thunder Bay. The lion’s mane has fallen off but carries on in name. Catching cobwebs in my hair, a silk proximity to skin, I bless the sickening illogic of it all. A putrefying factory or mobile lobe, courting contempt foot over fossil. Am I that bowl of brains, a swollen bag of blood? But then you never see a corpse that isn’t made up on TV. Slept past the water pipe emporium. Catastrophism is “for all”—no nukes, a meagre veganism. As she neared moral perfection, her to-do list dwindled to a few pressing mistakes. The region’s richest silver mine reduced down to a supple islet. A panoramic view inside a rock. O Sponge, your own name is a verb—conatus, indifferently sexed. One can’t mix poetry and politics without theft of necessity. Start with the ideas then. Nostalgia has no bearing upon justice: neither as fidelity to an event, nor as speculation on the resurrection. Imagine a world in which one may adequately mourn. The meadowlark tried in its way. A tradition that extends toward Antigone. The bowaldrome across the courthouse lawn was busiest at lunch, the nearby Travelodge stuffed with incumbent Christs. I hate to see a crust punk hustling on behalf of a suffering pet, as though one nervous system weren’t elaborate enough to bear the succulence of this privation, like one needed a proximate gullet to taunt. That’s my stingy conservative talking, he lashes out at any show of friendship he can’t monetize. No smoking, for example. What’s that odd smell wafting off the parking lot at dusk? Omega 3s, the nutritionist said, are to your brain as oil is to a car. But that light had been on for years, unblinking so ignored. I take the bus so I can tell my story, charmless braggart ambling least. I haven’t shit in Ignace in three years. It’s the acoustic boogaloo that sunders you. Like playing racquetball without a wall, writing a villanelle without a line rule. Galoot forgot his hairnet, had to wear a hat. His colon killed him. Dad’s cologne. A better question asked in bad faith. Who misses the Burger Family? At what point do free spirits go solo? I said that on a whim to see if we were listening. Whoever lingers longest takes the cake.