Money out of The Ground

There is nothing casual about this.
I’m just not very good at living well.

Revenge should be a lot funnier
and just slightly more dramatic.

The city should bend over backwards
and take lots of cram session drugs to get
the narrative just right.

Every last trolley car, out-of-work bearded lady
and disembodied street sign from the third world
should be flying back into what ought to be
a really good point.

I can’t live well and sleep soundly.

It’s all that psychology stuff about extremes,
and I’m either waking up the downstairs neighbors
by whining too much, or I’m starting a fire as big
as Savannah and calling it a magic trick.

If I can’t rush past the guy being paid to keep
people like me from getting in the front door,
then I want to stand on two soap boxes in the adjacent alley
and rob those rich kids blind with nothing but an unkind word.

I want to knock someone out
every time I throw a haymaker in the air.

If I can’t get her to like me as much as she loves me,
then I’d rather build the mansion out of dominos
and the hill out of bus tickets and damn near everything
from the digital history I put together on a bet.

Over the last year or so I’ve learned what it’s like
to easily sleep in until nine-thirty,
and I’m not emotionally prepared to wake up at six
realizing that I blew it over a few nervous screaming matches.

The public transportation around here is downright violent.
It was designed for you to need it more than it needs you
and wants an extra ten bucks to drop you off fifteen blocks
away from your house instead of the next state over.

Or the driver might take you out at the safest red light
you know. You then wake up working at a soup kitchen
with just enough bad wiring to kill some brain cells
every time you remember where you came from.

That’s one thing I worry about.
I also think most of my close friends are laughing at me
and deeply suspect I’ll get cancer no matter what I eat.

I may even have it on good-to-great authority
that I’m a better lawyer than a journalist.

That’s no good. I need to sell the rights to a movie
about the film that came out of my seventh book about the first picture,
and if I can’t then I’d rather steal a guitar and delude myself
into thinking that I’m a man of the world and an unloved folk genius.

I want a good reputation and the chance
to let her name the children,
or I want to be left alone for a hundred and fifty years.

It’s one or the other,
and I’ll chew my feet off
before getting caught in the middle.

- Gabriel Ricard