Once it was declared awful because it was brilliant
and then it was so universally brilliant it became awful.
And then we only loved the way they broke their own rules,
“we” including me, but now I think of Monet every day.
He had his haystacks and cathedrals
and I have the two drunk men on Boguslawskiego Street,
in Krakow, for thirty summer days in a row,
not waiting for me, they would be there anyhow,
but some satisfactory click occurs when I turn the corner
and there they are, fucking this and fucking that,
cans of beers, how to forget this, one bulbous in each back pocket,
otherwise shirtless, and if the sun is very strong, they’re
sitting on the ground. Subjectivity can be defined
by how I’ll never forget one of them acknowledged me
by saying, “Good day, miss,” on the day that was my birthday.
Objectivity can be defined by the dutiful offices they kept
even that day there was, for no special reason, a dead pigeon
on the ground beside them, flagrantly so, dead but splayed
in an unnatural fan of rigor mortis. So many things we feel we cannot
write about: love, death, grandparents, road kill, abortion.
Happiness, certainty, irony, depression. What tells me
I can’t write about the personal? But neither the political.
It’s exhausting: a bird? No one can be a nature poet any more.
Still underrepresented in poems: flight attendants. Cheese.
I agree with what this poem says, but I don’t like
how it goes about saying it. The problem with daimonions
is that they never tell you what to do, they only bring you
the keen sensation of what not to do, also known as silence.