Days of Me

Stuart Dischell

When people say they miss me,
I think how much I miss me too,
Me, the old me, the great me,
Lover of three women in one day,
Modest me, the best me, friend
To waiters and bartenders, hearty
Laugher and name rememberer,
Proud me, handsome and hirsute
In soccer shoes and shorts
On the ball fields behind MIT,
Strong me in a weightbelt at the gym,
Mutual sweat dripper in and out
Of the sauna, furtive observer
Of the coeducated and scantily clad,
Speedy me, cyclist of rivers,
Goose and peregrine falcon
Counter, all season venturer,
Chatterer-up of corner cops,
Groundskeepers, mothers with strollers,
Outwitter of panhandlers and bill
Collectors, avoider of levies, excises,
Me in a taxi in the rain,
Pressing my luck all the way home.

That's me at the dice table, baby,
Betting come, little Joe, and yo,
Blowing the coals, laying thunder,
My foot on top a fifty dollar chip
Some drunk spilled on the floor,
Dishonest me, evener of scores,
Eager accepter of the extra change,
Hotel towel pilferer, coffee spoon
Lifter, fervent retailer of others'
Humor, blackhearted gossiper,
Poisoner at the well, dweller
In unsavory detail, delighted sayer
Of the vulgar, off course belier
Of the true me, empiric builder
Newly haircutted, stickerer-up
For pals, jam unpriser, medic
To the self-inflicted, attorney
To the self-indicted, petty accountant
And keeper of the double books,
Great divider of the universe
And all its forms of existence
Into its relationship to me,
Fellow trembler to the future,
Thin air gawker, apprehender
Of the frameless door.

From Dig Safe by Stuart Dischell. Copyright © 2003 by Stuart Dischell. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.

From Dig Safe by Stuart Dischell. Copyright © 2003 by Stuart Dischell. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.

Stuart Dischell

by this poet

poem

Old bells wake me up
     At ten, then the wing snaps
Of pigeons skirting the courtyard
     Bring me to the window,
Where the young cosmeticians
     In their very clean outfits
On break check their phones
     And smoke and laugh among
Their number and roll
poem
The governor will give
Homeless people sleeping bags,
Let them stay the night

On windswept porticos
Outside his buildings
Instead of your doorstep.

I am talking to myself
With empty rooms
I cannot bear to live in.