February 5, 2023

Self-Portrait Using the Word “No”

No more television.
No more television?
No more television,
 You have screwed around all day long, neglected your family, your writing, your chores,
watched nothing but football,
lying on the couch like a fish on the sea bottom. No more McDonald’s either.

No more McDonald’s?
No more McDonald’s,
 you’re getting fat,

your heart hums in the morning from the junk you eat.
and no more staying up late.

I love staying up late,
 I’m afraid I will miss something.
No staying up late, it’s bad for you,

you wake up like a crazed cyclone,
barely making it to work, nerves pounding temper flaring, cursing your job.
Staying up late is out.

Who’s talking to me?
I don’t like you, Someone.
And while we are at it, no more Jack Daniels.
No way I give that up.
I love the clatter of ice cubes in those heavy glasses.

No more Jack. You don’t know how
to just have a social drink,
you drink to get drunk,
you’re already borderline alcoholic. No more Jack.

But all these things make me happy.
No more being happy. Look what it does to you.