Standing over the trash bag
I noticed carrot scrapings
and egg shells and coffee
grounds and cigarette butts and
ashes and I peeled the slimy
rubber off of my limp dick
and dropped the thing onto the
pile and thought about our
relationship as my sperms dripped
into grounds and butts and scrapings
as the afternoon haze drizzled through
the living room window.



The last time
I enter this room,
pushing past the
clothing and the
furniture into the
landscape of this room, where there is a bed,
where there is a rug, a wall, a window, two doors,
a floor, and a telephone,
the last time I enter this room to take you,
to wake you up into my abrupt life,
gnawing, spitting, cursing,
partaking of my gruesome sport,
wallowing in abstract emotion,
deciding meaningless decisions,
I’ll make one last formulated fake response.
Tonight the daughter-wife,
the tyrant beast-child is bored with me.
She instructs me,
she talks widdle dirl talk
and I can’t reach her.
So I plan her death
and she resents me.

I’m sick of articles and clauses,
grammatical asterisks and salaries
and the careful garbage of mercenary words;
wielding nothing,
meaning nothing,
challenging nothing,
changing nothing.
I’m sick of it all:
the wife at home, home, the job, the car,
crashing into parking spaces,
buying food.

I arrive on time.
I forego all tiny pleasures.
I get nearly enough sleep.
I watch the hours pass.
I do my job.
In all this late arriving compromise
of the shared bed and the shared life
I have almost half-memory,
half memory of a distant life.



Didn’t care anymore
as she laid it all out for me,
plain to see.
I saw the plain actual thing of it,
the impossibility of hope for this
dead corpse of a thing.

Her injured hand became the core of
our life together, a symbol representing
the extent of hopelessness, the degree to which,
the depth to which it had sunk. And this plain
knowledge was a new ugly fact for me,
something to consider and accept.
Most holy hope to die and go to hell,
but I’m still here and she’s still here.



They will come
if you conjure them into existence,
if you sneer at them and tell them, directly,
how stupid they are, if you insult them they will not
just leave it at that.

So be careful and pick your spots.
They will come at you through your telephone
and in person and in the mails
and they will want to kill you for words.


Image Credit:Serene Vannoy
Douglas Goodwin is a poet who came to prominence in the 80s and famously attracted the admiration of Charles Bukowski. Goodwin's work is available in rare editions on

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