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Home: The Toast

Howard
Howard are you in there?
WHO IS IT
it’s me
how long have you been locked in here?
LONGER THAN TIME
are you planning on coming out anytime soon?
for food or for anything?
I WENT OUTSIDE ONCE
IT WAS TERRIBLE
EVERYONE WAS WALKING DOWN THE STREET BUT THEY WEREN’T DESCENDED FROM THE MAYFLOWER

yes that
that happens sometimes
will you come out of the bathroom just for a minute, though?
how many races of people
would you say are outside right now

I don’t understand
out here in the hallway?
just outside in general
would you say that there’s mostly just the one race
or more than one
like some races

I mean
yeah I think it’s some
this is a big city
it’s probably some
THEN I SHALL STAY IN THE BATHTUB
THIS BATHTUB IS WHITE AND SMOOTH, LIKE ME AND ALL OF MY FOREFATHERS

I don’t think hiding in the bathtub is going to stop anyone from being a different race than you, Howard
YOU CAN’T PROVE IT WON’T NOT STOP THEM
what?
LEAVE ME ALONE
I DECLARE THIS BATHTUB NEW NEW ENGLAND
AND I AM ITS KING

 

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE MOST TERRIFYING THING IN THE DARK AND SWOLLEN HISTORY OF THIS SHUDDERING EARTH IS, LAD
no
what is it
ARCHITECTURE
what?
ARCHITECTURE
I’M GOING TO WRITE THE WORLD’S GREATEST HORROR STORY ABOUT ARCHITECTURE

that certainly sounds novel
BECAUSE WHAT IF SOMEONE BUILT A CITY THAT HAD
YOU KNOW
SOME WEIRD ANGLES
THAT WOULD JUST BE THE WORST
DON’T YOU THINK

 

IS THAT A WOMAN I HEAR ON THE STAIRWELL 
I’m not sure
it’s hard to tell what women sound like from this distance
GET HER OUT OF HERE
FAUGH
UUUGH
A WOMAN

I’m sure she’ll keep taking the stairs and be gone in a moment
TELL HER TO STAIR FASTER
AND TELL HER THAT I’M A REMARKABLE LOVER
BUT I WON’T HAVE SEX WITH HER OR ANYONE
PEOPLE ONLY WANT TO HAVE SEX WHEN THEY’RE NINETEEN
AND IF THEY DON’T GET MARRIED THEN THEY JUST SORT OF FORGET IT EXISTS
THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS, YOU KNOW
NINETEEN OR BUST
I’M PERFECTLY NORMAL SEX-WISE BUT I DON’T WANT TO HAVE IT EVER AGAIN
ESPECIALLY WITH WOMEN
UUUGH
WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY’VE GOT GOING ON UNDER ALL THOSE
GARTERS AND STRAPPADOS AND WHAT HAVE YOU
FOAM AND MIST AND PROTUBERANCES, I’VE NO DOUBT
GET RID OF HER

I don’t see anyone
GOOD
PERHAPS SHE WAS SCARED OFF BY MY RAW MASCULINE POWER

perhaps
I don’t like men either, if you were wondering
I wasn’t
well
i don’t
i don’t like anyone
just Harry Houdini and my mother and that’s it

 

do you know what i hope
what’s that
i hope that if, years from now, some people aren’t quite so organized in their racism as they are now
i hope when they look back on my work
they don’t just dismiss me as “a man of my time”
that would really upset me
if they didn’t realize how seriously i take my racism
i hope they don’t try to do that

I’m sure they won’t do that
perhaps I’d better write another poem about race-mixing just in case

 

UUUUUUUUGHHH
GUUHHHHHHHHHH
GUUHGHHHGHHHHGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

what is it?
GUUUUUUUNNNNNGGHHHHH
my God man, what’s wrong?
what’s happened?
NOTHING
what’s wrong?
TIME
what?
YOU KNOW
TIME
IT’S VERY OLD

I see
AND PEOPLE USED TO BE FISH
really?
well
broadly speaking

that seems like an enormously broad reading of the process of evolution
WELL
SOMETHING USED TO BE FISH, ANYHOW
AND THERE ARE STILL FISH NOW
AND ALSO TIME

what about time
IT KEEPS HAPPENING
AND THE STARS ARE VERY OLD BUT WE AREN’T

I
that’s not untrue, exactly
GAAAAAUUUUGGGHHHHHH

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