Literature, that romantic old bastard,
Is sick again, aslant on his chair
Like a spread-eagled book, already plastered
By noon and mumbling life’s unfair.
He speaks these days, ventriloquizing
In a voice long ruined by social disease,
His brilliant spasms slowed to writhing
And minute gestures that nobody sees.
What can we do for the drunken degenerate?
Tear up his license, make sure he’s not read,
Submit him to lectures, make him aware that
We don’t want him living, we don’t want him dead.
David Galef writes: “The State of the Art reflects our era’s attitude toward literature. It was published in Pivot way back when.”
David Galef has published over two hundred poems in magazines ranging from Light and Measure to The Yale Review. He’s also published two poetry volumes, Flaws and Kanji Poems, as well as two chapbooks, Lists and Apocalypses. In real life, he directs the creative writing program at Montclair State University.
Photo: “Old Drunk Man” by mocheeks is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0