a brief text on tardiness

I guess it’s too late to live on the farm
the myth of past self-recognition, or something
I guess it’s too late for that now, isn’t it?
Too late for coffee, herb tea—Don’t have any.
But it always sounds good when people offer it to me
and now that it’s gone, I just keep on asking…Boy
you sure are pretty.
Bet you haven’t heard that one in a while…
Hey, doll.
Looks like I let you down again.
Seems like all my life, I’ve just been going, going…
Wish I’d taken more time to smell the roses, so to speak.
I guess it’s too late for that now. Too late to start farming. Why?
Too late for that hay-bailed, baroque, white-boy shit.
Too late for that movement with a C.
Learn your history!
My greatest ambition was to have people comment on my fine
dramatic performances
but language has not accustomed itself to a situation
in which the act itself is the “object.”
I’m the greatest. I’m the greatest. No,
she’s the greatest.
I’m pretty sure all these quotes started off as a joke…
I guess it’s too late to wipe them out. LOL.
I guess it’s too late to start wiping.


How is she? She died last month. Sorry. Shit.
I guess it’s too late now. I guess we’re up next.
My wife is not my best sexual partner, but she’s good
with the housework. I haven’t heard from her in years.
Huh. She never contacted me, you know? You’re supposed
to be her son, right?
I guess we’ll have to loop that line.
I guess it’s totaled, huh?
I guess I’ll never be a farmer. I’ll have to give up my farmer dreams
and be a poet of place.
I’ve never liked the name Michael, or Marilyn
much less Farmer Dan. I’ve often wished I’d held out that day for Buck or Jean Monroe.
But it’s too late.
Too late to do anything about it.
You don’t let taste decide the firing of a pistol
or the building of a maze. My clearest memory?
Panicking inside the Dole Plantation’s giant Pineapple Garden, six years old, crying,
to eat my way out.
I guess it’s too late to go back. I guess
that’s why I never really had a taste for pineapple.
Huh. Wish I’d taken more time to smell the fruit. We,
in poetry, have a lot of signals.
Some are dummies, some are live.
A sketch can have the function of a skirmish.
I guess it’s too late
to call it a dummy signal, but we’ve got some work to do
some communication. Yeah.

—with Bernadette Mayer, Marilyn Monroe, Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer, Claude Van Damme, Harold Rosenberg (“The American Action Painters”), and the scripts of Lincoln, The Life Aquatic, Working Girl, and Crank



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