Dogs 2010

A QUESTION OF UTILITY
(7/26/10)


I hated
these social
occasions

back
in the day
I would drink
my way through
them

now
I must rely
upon twisted
rationalizations
alone
to endure
the events

my tormenter
this night
was a construction
foreman

I worked
with his wife
and after more
than a few beers
he pointed out
to me
that without
a computer
I had little
purpose
in this world

he opined
that I wound not
have a chance
as a frontiersman
if modern conveniences
were suddenly
stripped
from me

in fact
he tactfully termed
my demoted definition
in his future fictional
post apocalyptic
world without
electricity
as

"FUCKING USELESS!!!"

I actually
looked at him
after that
proclamation

before that
I had been
drifting visually
over his shoulder
in the direction
of a horrible collection
of family photographs
on the host's
living room
wall

"COULD YOU BUILD A HOUSE???"

I shook
my head
but said
that I could surely
find shelter
of some sort

"COULD YOU DIG A WELL???"

I shook
my head
but said
that I could surely
find some water
somewhere

"COULD YOU HUNT ANIMALS FOR FOOD???"

I shook
my head
but said
that I could surely
find enough
edible plants

he was growing
visibly disconcerted
by my lackadaisical
admissions of disability
and my blatant refusal
to take him
seriously

perhaps
I had offered
one patronizing smile
too many

"COULD YOU KILL
TO PROTECT YOURSELF
YOU COCKSUCKING
POETRY WRITING
PUSSY???"

I leaned in
and whispered
to him
that I could
very well
kill him
in his sleep

someone
grabbed his arm
before it could propel
his callused fist
into my face

I turned
from the fray
to walk out
into the backyard
to see if I could
find any stars
by which
to navigate
my way
home