While driving the back roads to Sag Harbor …

and stopped at a traffic light, the driver
directly behind us in a fabulous new Mercedes Benz
convertible blows his horn and seeks an alternate route
on the impassable shoulder and the opposing lane with its
unending line of opposing traffic all to indicate his
displeasure that we are not moving despite the fact that the light has
clearly turned green and the long line of traffic should be proceeding
through the intersection in a perfect and orderly fashion and Agnes
says what a freaking idiot, blowing the horn does not make
thick, backed up summer traffic move any faster there is
nowhere to go much less go faster and it just aggravates
people. You will have to write a poem about that yoyo in
his flashy imported small penis mobile.

Fuck the poem…what I really want to do is drag him from the
car beat him one centimeter from death, but that would later
involve cross country flight, law enforcement, the purchase of
assault weapons and a final stand at a seedy no tell
motel just outside of Bakersfield where I would be
mortally wounded in a shootout, my final words would not
be meaningful or poetic, but something like a blood
choked gurgling, Fuck…this really sucks, while a 250 pound ATF
agent stands on my head with his size twelve booted left foot and
damn it if somewhere during the chase he has stepped in fresh dog shit.

But I have never liked assault weapons or final stands
in seedy motels or Bakersfield for that matter and I do not
want to ruin a beautiful Saturday afternoon by being baited
into violence, so I instead make a note that I SHOULD write a poem
about the asshole behind us. He deserves a well worded slaying
retort that he will never read or hear ever and will never
change who or what he is or has become.

But I decided last night that I am not going to write a
poem about him. I decided that I am not a poem machine that
just whips up a little batch of creativity when someone throws
a switch and tosses a few life experiential ingredients into a
large hopper with some wood flour and recycled plastic. I am
not a machine with on demand capabilities. I am a delicate,
creative, flower of a human being. I am a poet, not
a piece of unthinking whirring metal wired to high voltage.

However, this morning, upon a lengthy, thoughtful review during my shower, I
concluded that I actually am a poem machine. I am a poem machine
housed in a nondescript concrete building at the industrial park out by
the interstate. I am a poem machine and not one of those high tech
German MFA machines that manufacture poems to exacting tolerances, an eye
trained toward perfection. Nor am I an exquisite loom, designed for silk and thin
delicacy. I am an old poem machine that squeals and whines and goes
clunk. Listen, you can hear metal on metal contact, gears grinding, belts slipping. I
have never been properly maintained. I have never had my fluids topped
off or my bearings greased.

And as a result, my poems are flawed, oblong when they should be
round, rough when they should be smooth, square when seeking
cool. They are never within spec. They drive the quality control
people insane with their inconsistency and left turns and protruding
parts where nothing is supposed to stick out. But eyeing a sort of
redemption, my poems are common and made from easily obtained
ingredients. If so inclined or required by law, you could probably whip
up a batch of your own. My poems are indeed industrial, working
class even. They drink beer, drive the big rigs and have a fondness for
meat cooked rough and rare. They do not spin in fancy pirouettes, they
speak plain, with a certain pained, painful and withering honesty.

So…after all is said and things done,
I am a poem machine and I am here to tell you that
that yoyo in Mercedes was an uptight, me first, fuck
everyone else in the world asshole that bought a flashy
imported, convertible as compensation for a small
penis and unwillingness to lick pussy and I really
should have dragged his ass from his small penis mobile and
beaten the shit out of him because he stands for everything
that is rotten, wretched, vile and disgusting in this world and
trust me, I damn well would have kicked the shit out of him if
I did not hate assault weapons,
final stands in seedy motels,
dog shatted ATF jackboots standing on my skull and
Bakersfield, California.

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