Another Night on Earth
by Mitchell Waldman
"Screaming bloody fucking mad"
--Sex Pistols on the stereo
know what they mean
--wonder about everything
who dropped me in this alien world
feeling just like Superboy baby
only lacking any of the Super powers
couldn't box my way out of a rubber room
if I tried
no X-ray powers
can't even start to understand what my wife wants
who am I who am I who am I?
stay tuned, we'll be right back
insanity grows with age for women, I think
(for men, too, no doubt, I'm the perfect example)
the 1996 Ford Taurus --
what more could you want from a car
or life or life or life
can't bend iron with two fingers
can't even get through the day half the time
a couple beers to keep me steady
beyond it all
what would Clark think
what would my parents think
sucking on the pacifier pacifier pacify her
but keep up the good face
don't cry in public
don't give quarters to strangers
or dollar bills
Money for food, money for food?
Yeah, no, I don't know, take my wallet
hell, take the credit cards,
take the whole fucking thing
life's a bitch, a beach a beached whale
my problems are nothing never have been never been
(even my problems have an inferiority complex)
time I wrote him teenage suicide-threatening
but writing back telling him "Sorry, just joking, just a bad day
I'm not really running away from home, had a hormone surge
I'm fine now"
And his reply:
Don't ever say that to me again unless you mean it mean it
Well, he oughta know
Where are you now, brother, where
when I need you need you
and at our father's death bed prelude
when I said "I need a big brother, you'll always be my big
you laughed, spilled your wine and said:
"You're gonna have to get over that
over that over
Never got over anything
it's still all there
a goddamned compost heap
just setting there
stinking to high heaven
in my brain
"But what do you have to complain about?,"
my mother says,
"there are a lot of people worse off than you,"
worse off worse off
reminiscent of those proverbial paper envelopes
I wanted to send on her invitation
of wasted peas to starving
invisible bony Chinese babies
(they're starving over there over there)
a lot worse off
Money for food, money for food?
And this woman, Diane, her brother died at thirty-four
shoulda been coulda been--
don't think about it
"Maybe you should get a divorce," my mother says
"if that's how things are, if that's how you feel,"
but she still doesn't get it -- I haven't been asking her advice
since I was, what, twelve, thirteen?
But she's got an endless supply of lines, home remedies
fresh from the freezer section
clips "useful," "helpful" articles for me
mails them to me with yellow stick-on notes
do you ever get over it over them over over
turn over, now let's try it this way
what way, any way, it was never good with him, anyway
never good never good never good
an endless supply of endless supplies--
"distance makes the heart grow fonder"
Bullshit bullshit bullshit
Sex Pistols say:
"Fuck this and fuck that"
"I got no feelings for anyone else except for myself"--
now there were real supermen
too bad Sid shot himself
thought he was super
the real thing
And Superman's gone too,
never was never been
Superman where are you?
Oh, God, look out!
where's a telephone booth when you need--
okay if I call collect?--
when you really need one?
About the author: Mitchell Waldman, the author of A Face in the Moon, has had short stories, poetry, and essays published in numerous magazines and other publications.
Some of his work has appeared in such publications as Poetpourri, Wind Magazine, Five Fishes Journal, Poetry Motel, Delirium, CWG Newsletter, Poetalk, Poet's Page, Poetic Hours, The Poetry Peddler, Poetry Forum, The Advocate, Desperate Act, The Hazmat Literary Review, Mobius, Innisfree, The Parnassus Literary Journal, Verbal Expression, Bold Print, Woven Worlds, Long Story Short, 13th Story, The Poet's Haven, Unknowns, Rochester Shorts, The Rochester Times-Union, and the anthologies, Beyond Lament: Poets of the World Bearing Witness to the Holocaust (Northwestern University Press, 1998), and Messages from the Universe (iUniverse, 2002).
He was also co-editor (with Diana L. May) of the book, Wounds of War: Poets for Peace (PublishAmerica, 2006).
Mitchell also writes book reviews for Midwest Book Review.
A Face in the Moon is his first novel.