Farewell To Bread

The papers said that I was thinner.

In another life, I was a commissionaire,
or caricaturing tourists in some difficult city.

I was thinking Venice was a no.

I shouldn’t heve grumped on Annie, but
I didn’t know her dog had died.

As I’ve said before, no one should cover ‘Life on Mars’.

I was trying to figure a way of putting
an epigraph before an epigraph.

I was a cipher in my own petty system of abandon.

I was wondering how long we’d have to wait for
Tom-and-Alice, which seems inevitable.

I was wondering how much of this could make it into Latin.

I thought of Sinéad asleep. Her sneeze.

I had bidden farewell to bread.

By ‘the papers’ I mean whichever papers.

I recalled what Imo said about size and attraction and felt it
like a gun quite close to my head, by which I mean cold and true.

I was tired of people westering at me,
gimping over their phones.

I regretted promising Greg new winklepickers.

I felt uncomfortable that someone might ask
which of the younger poets I found most attractive.

I was hung and drawn.

When I argued internally, it was generally with you, friend.

I was fond of the Conroys.

I was fond of my own blood, its cameo appearances.

I worried that people called Geier Geier and Faisal Faisal.

I tried to remember the last time I had said ‘no’ to anything.

I thought of when I hugged Charlie and she said,
‘but you don’t like people touching you.’

It was clear I had allies and that was something.

My sexual fantasy about Sally is the least explicit –
not even a nipple, not even a sigh.

I was toying with my chances of survival under the circumstances.

I was thinking of Kathy – new book – but is she happy?

I wondered how Simon sleeps, all those murdered children
swimming in his eyes.

I uninvented the sandwich. I worked on
the square root of my happiness.

I tried saying no. Like this – NO, but no one was convinced.

Roddy Lumsden

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