Spring 2004 • Vol. XXVI No. 2 Poetry |

Poem in the Male Manner

I just chose the hardest left turn to make in all of Ithaca. Go ahead, asshole. I won't stop you. If you're taking notes you can say the world has gone to hell in a brand new Lexus. Around here they're as common as injuries at a construction site and lawyers whose timers go on when they ask you about your golf game. I knew I had made it when I went from bowling to golf. Still, when you think of everything that went wrong—the market dropping like a parachutist whose chute fails to open, the terrorists still out there, with corporate crooks cooking the books, and the whole fucking United Nations hates the Jews— you can get pretty depressed. Then I think of you, my ex-girlfriend, in jail for bitchslapping the traffic cop who put you there for DWI, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, and I smile. Like larks at break of day? Not quite, but the midafternoon haze has its attractions, too, as Ted Berrigan advised me in a bookstore in London you'd be surprised at the difference a r

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David Lehman's most recent books are New and Selected Poems (Scribner, 2013) and A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (Schocken), which won the ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award in 2010. He launched The Best American Poetry in 1988 and continues as the annual anthology's general editor.

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