rich quatrone | encroachment


pick up the times outside
go to sports section, then arts section
after that, look at front page
see the same tragedies and lies
and nonsense
so this is the world, neatly
wrapped up and deposited
in my driveway

always tired
stay up too late every night
consistently don’t turn off the lamp
on my night table before 1:30,
more often around 2am
and always up by 9
with at least one, sometimes two
visits to the bathroom to pee
in the middle of the night

working with an actor-producer
who’s also a physician
sitting in a bar the other night
he goes into a story about his
prostate, about having it checked
every three months, about his normally
high “psa,” about how his family
has a powerful testosterone level,
and then gives me a very medically
detailed account of the structure of
the prostate, tells me how there are
lymph glands surrounding it and
that once a cancer metastasizes
it’s all over

i sat there knowing i never get
checked, that i pee too often,
that my “stream” has weakened,
and all the rest

and i know i’m being dragged
away from my own world
a world where poems save me
from death, where the body,
my body, heals itself or kills
itself moment to moment,
depending on my courage,
my honesty with myself,
on god, on love, on pure

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