My living room is flooding, waist deep, and I can do nothing
but quiver and hope, like an earwig fallen from the curtain folds
of someone else's bathtub dream. I slip down the white sides
of sleep into morning's muddle, dehydrated, seeking
the flesh and burst of a grape.
This is an unfamiliar house, filled with familiar people who don't
belong together, who don't belong together
just as the courses of a fine dinner are not stirred
willy-nilly and drunk from a skinny glass
like so much Slim-Fast. I squirm through
clouds, dodging uncomfortable greetings,
Detroit-sized potholes, knowing that on these premises
are two people here to take me to a new home.
The rolled up art in the kitchen offers direction,
but its nuances blur into the din of too many friends on one couch.
Guilt extinguishes my street-corner cigarette, leaves no recourse
but the sip of a whiskey and tonic, the night's record,
and the resolve to try, tomorrow.
Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not
original and the part that is original is not good.
-- Samuel Johnson
This page was last modified on 2011 December 20. "Last Night in Lansing" by John Sullivan is Copyright ©2003 - 2011, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.