Paul Guest

Because Everything is Terrible

Or feels endlessly ruinous, at least,

I’ll praise the trivial.  I’ll praise

in winter the half-foot of height

lost by the Eiffel Tower.  I’ll praise

aspirin, which once was made

from the boiled bark of the willow tree.

Because there is never

too much pleasure in this stupid world,

I’ll praise chocolate.  Decent

sex.  Out-of-body experiences.

New languages.  I’ll praise

Wayne Newton because this is perverse.

Tumbling through cold space

is an asteroid filled with murder.

Sealed up in amber, pressed into stone,

are bones of the long dead

super-lizards I loved when I was a boy

and dying was not a thing

anybody ever did.  I praise

in this instant my sprained ankle,

my sore throat, my face

which needs to be shaved.

I love you, all.  I love the shadows

inking the window to my right.

Collection agent, what

do I owe you?  I don’t have it to give you,

but I can imagine a life

of obscene wealth.  I can imagine

going so fast that time

slows down.  Over there is

the wooden roller coaster

that is causing all this screaming.

I am screaming.  I’m thinking

of my body.  I am falling

through sleep into hateful Thursday.

Tonight:  I’ll praise whatever

is at hand.  A new year.  The apocalypse.



“Because Everything is Terrible” is from Because Everything is Terrible (Diode Editions, 2018).