I Hate Life by Joe Weil

There’s a piece of steak caught between my rotting teeth (They

didn’t put fluoride in our water.)

Meanwhile, poets want me to be more


I hate poetry

It is full of hope

It is full of birds

It is full of—

I’m bald, and short, and overweight

and I have to go on “loving” myself?

Give me a break.

Poetry should be written by better folks than me.

The moon is above the Mid-Atlantic grant winners.

The moon is crawling into windows

and sprawling all over the backyard patio.

The moon is leaving three fingers of silver light

on the sleeping face of a woman I loved.

The moon is beginning to bore me.

I am a sad man in a bowling shirt.

What do I know?

Come here and whisper the sea into my ear.

Come here and lick my neck.

I would like to be more profound—

more “poet” like


the truth is I stare at rivers in order to stop thinking.

Be a river then, and come to me like a river, like the ancient

of days, stop being only the land, start pouring your heart

onto my shoes which are being worn and dirty, stop my 


from gouging a hole in the sky.  Tell me you will sit with me

in the dust while I scrape the dried blood from my body.  Tell 

me it is suffering without hope that redeems.  Lie!  It is

suffering without hope and it is hard to love or be loved

even when you are close to perfect.  I am this close to perfect.


now you are perfect to me— you who lift your eyes from the

long river of dusk, you who speak to me with your eyelashes.


can we know?  Your vowels are the roundest vowels I’ve seen!

Kiss me!