( "The World" means 1/2 + 1/2)

Please note! This poem was written in the late 1970s about a man I dated for a short while. HIS NAME WAS NOT JOHN PALMER. I understand John Palmer is a common name, and I hope no one mistakes this man for anyone named John Palmer (or anyone else, for that matter). John Palmer is a fictional name in this context.

John Palmer's in the world!

And he's all alone John Palmer

waking up at 6 am

with his B.A. in English

and his four dollar an hour job

putting disabled men to sleep and waking them.

John Palmer feels lonely knows he's too shy to meet nice girls he sees (jacks off instead). No nice girls want to know his name. Whores talk too much. All laugh at him.

John Palmer cruises Berkeley in his grey Chevrolet, stops in at a cafe to observe how women balance their lips across teeth, always on the brink of teasing him. He scribbles poems which say:

All the women, beautiful and aloof . . . And no one wants to know my name.

Later that day John Palmer is at the dirty cinema ! In the dark he imagines himself fucking. His eyes are wet and stiff as pussy. He comes in his pants without touching.

Whores talk too much .

No nice girls want to know his name.

That evening -

John Palmer home in his room, in his study, his bookshelves climbing the walls swollen as capillaries, and on the small, square patch of rug on cold linoleum, he tosses a bag and blanket and wraps himself alone.

He closes his eyes John Palmer conjures nice girls,

their faces translucent as movie screens,

invents slender thighs, sighs, tries

can't come,

can't sleep.

John Palmer alone,

gets dressed,

goes out in the world, John Palmer,

into his car, drivin' down the side street,

goin ' to the parlor,

and all the nice girls are laughing at him.

he picks the one who looks like all of them.

Whores talk too much.

Not enough fuck.

Pays forty for The World

Which is everything.

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