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 *