• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 03
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New Year’s Day. And there, in my greyscale chamber,
I dully contrived a booze-botched self-rebuke,
conjured up from sleep’s strange panorama,
that mess of signals, that can seem a joke
sometimes—now knotting up to make me sick.
I came to in a blue despondent blur,
concerning nothing much, and hollered: “EURRRGHHH!”

Up I lurched to pose the classic poser:
“Why do I keep doing this to myself?”
How you’d’ve scoffed at that, you early riser,
whose side of the bed remained my wiser half.
“Airy stuff,” you cried, my eavesdropping sylph:
“Must your melodies mope at this dreary tempo?
There are other keys, you know, besides distemper . . . .”

The mirror only showed me further cause
to mope: an egghead lined with dreadful care,
that, mockingly, last year had made much worse.
Of harms and the mensch—well, who could keep that score?
I’d caught life, for which there’s but one sure cure,
the merest hint of which entrenched the dread;
and made me think again of what I’d had

by way of blessings: city living, friends,
all the normal stuff. Enough, perhaps,
to force the black dogs to throw in their hands—
enough to stave off, say, absolute collapse.
The year had begun, and roared “APOCALYPSE!”
But there I was, out in the greyscale street,
at least—ready to meet, if not to smile on, fate.