I am a sixty year old man and look it.
My once auburn beard is grey,
my Beatle hair all gone now. I have
this awful stomach. At first
I thought I was distended,
bloated from some disease or other
only to discover that I'm fat. That's
too many lines. I'll try again:
I'm a sixty year old former psychoanalyst
no, the editor might hate Freud,
or maybe she had a bad analysis;
I know I did twice.
Better try something else:
I'm sixty years old and have a Ph.D.
in psychology. That won't work,
maybe the editor hates Ph.D.s.
Maybe she became an editor
because some English professor
told her she couldn't write.
That's why she's sitting at a desk
with 500 poems to read by midnight.
Here, this should do it: I'm a sixty
year old freelance writer living
in Pittsburgh. Wait, it's probable
an 18-year-old pimply-brained
freshman honor student is reading
this first cut of poems. He's been rejected
by every journal he's submitted poems to
becausebecause old farts like me
get published instead of him.
So he'll pass on Mr. Geriatric. Okay,
fine, let's drop the age thing:
I'm a freelance writer in Pittsburgh
who attends the writing program
at the University of Pittsburgh. Well,
not really. While I've taken several
writing courses at Pitt, even a couple
graduate workshops in writing,
the only times I'm in the writing program
are when I'm partying at Grady's,
watching him smoke a couple Js,
wishing I could join him (I get bronchial
spasms when I toke), or talking to his students,
the real writers, while they can still stand
up. Goddamnit, maybe this will fly:
I'm a freelance writer in Pittsburgh.
Wait, "freelance writer," that's code
for "old fart." Mr. 18-year-old
first reader will see through that
faster than a priest grabs
an altar boy after Mass.
Okay, last try: I'm a, um
hell, I'm Pittsburgh. Thanks,
yinz, for reading my poems.