John Yau

For the Spirit of Jean Vigo


I began this poem shortly after I asphyxiated the cuckoo hiding in my alarm clock
I will never lift up a spoon of alphabet soup, even from languages I do not comprehend
I wish to be described as a nuisance who acts with sincerity and dedication
I refuse to turn a buttery shade of pale in order to improve my complexion
I like to thumb through books that have no spines and their covers are burned
I welcome the snow widening its cavalcade on the charcoal-colored horizon
I neither sweep my plumed hat before me nor grab the hilt of my sword
I will not open my mouth and reveal how many rows of teeth I possess
I always make my bed, even when I do not leave it and go to my boring job
I like poems that perspire freely, fart ferociously, and urinate dreamily
I cannot tolerate another winter in a fallout shelter wondering where the time went
I will give you all my personal stationery if you promise never to write me
I loot because you proudly put it on display and act like I am not supposed to take it
I do not wish to be exonerated by you or anyone else

(Written on June 4, 2020, the day before my 70th birthday)

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