Poem by Kim Addonizio
Poem in November
My car battery keeps dying
but the mechanic can’t find
the drain even with his special
digital device which makes me wonder
how anyone can begin to solve
the problem of being human.
My ex plus why, for example.
For example, two girls leave
the station at the same time
and one explodes in high school
after Quaaludes and stolen gin
while the other meanders
toward Paris or Berlin, sipping wine
before tables of half-inch cheese cubes,
writing sonnets about the shrinking distance
between her and the horizon.
After catching some fish and throwing some back,
how many boats remain in the harbor?
How many balloons are left?
The trees seem generally unconcerned
with the problem of being vegetation
despite the felling of their brethren,
but then again they may be exchanging
secret letters through their roots,
plotting to take down our new president,
a cretin with a trident.
How much pizza can he devour
in the next four years? Isn’t there a witch
who can shove him into the oven?
The mechanic and I peer under the hood.
He shows me the numbers on his gadget
and I nod, even though I don’t get it.
Sometimes you nod when you want
to strip off all your armor
and bang your head against your shield.
Sometimes when you bang your head,
a crack appears in your skull
through which a bright feather
may suddenly fall.
Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry, The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius. She has received fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Award Finalist for her collection Tell Me. Her latest books are Mortal Trash: Poems (W.W. Norton) and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress (Penguin). She recently collaborated on a chapbook, The Night Could Go in Either Direction (Slapering Hol) with poet Brittany Perham. Addonizio also has two word/music CDs: Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing (with Susan Browne) and My Black Angel, a companion to My Black Angel: Blues Poems & Portraits, featuring woodcuts by Charles D. Jones. is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Mortal Trash (W.W. Norton), and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress (Penguin). She is online at www.kimaddonizio.com .