I worked at staying alive today, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s nothing like stepping up to the size of your own war, and end that day on your feet, bloodied but unbowed. It’s in this spirit I offer up the poem of the week, and invite you to share a favorite song of survival with me.
Vodka chased with coffee. Each morning
I hang the sign on the door:
OUT TO LUNCH
But no one pays attention; my friends
look at the sign and
sometimes leave little notes,
or else they call – Come out and play,
Ray – mond.
Once my son, that bastard,
slipped in and left me a colored egg
and a walking stick.
I think he drank some of my vodka.
And last week my wife dropped by
with a can of beef soup
and a carton of tears.
She drank some of my vodka, too, I think,
then left hurriedly in a strange car
with a man I’d never seen before.
They don’t understand; I’m fine,
just fine where I am, for any day now
I shall be, I shall be, I shall be . . .
I intend to take all the time in this world,
consider everything, even miracles,
yet remain on guard, ever
more careful, more watchful,
against those who would sin against me,
against those who would steal vodka,
against those who would do me harm.