Joseph Brodsky

Eighteen years I've spent in Manhattan.
The landlord was good, but he turned bad.
A scumbag, actually. Man, I hate him.
Money is green, but it flows like blood.

I guess I've got to move across the river.
New Jersey beckons with its sulphur glow.
Say, numbered years are a lesser evil.
Money is green, but it doesn't grow.

I'll take away my furniture, my old sofa.
But what should I do with my windows' view?
I feel like I've been married to it, or something.
Money is green, but it makes you blue.

A body on the whole knows where it's going.
I guess it's one's soul that makes one pray,
even though above it's just a Boeing.
Money is green, and I am gray.

March 16 [1996]
David Lehman

The weather is on a lottery
system and I've lucked out two
Saturdays in a row its warm
in Tampa where I want to eat
paella and smoke a cigar and
wonder if Tampax was invented
here I remember the year
my favorite song was "All of Me"
by Sinatra the phrase on everyone's
lips was "in your face" I wrote
odes to the nudes in Lee Friedlander's
photos the tropical tufts of pubic
hair and cheap alarm clocks
constantly going off as if time
were speeding up and the cabdriver
taking me to the airport said
I know you you're the guy who
played the doctor on Love Boat
--- From Word of Mouth
Catherine Bowman,
©2003 Vintage Books
Go to more poems from this book


Go Up     Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH

Send us an e-mail