Change of Life (an epistolary homage)

          I'm moved beyond recognition by your simple peasant ways. Here, have some toluene.
                    —Sal Salasin, Optima Suavidad

Dear Mr. Salasin,

Your wonderful book of wonderful poetry poems
          changed my life!
          the second book, not the first book;
          I'm sure the first book is wonderful, too,
          but I haven't read it yet.
I know it's time to change my life
          when I throw it at the wall
          and it sticks.
I was going to try to change my life on a regular schedule;
          twice a year, when I turn over the mattress,
          but I have a waterbed.
There's nothing like the soothing sound of water
          to give you pleasant dreams
          and wake you up in the middle of the night
          to go to the bathroom.
I always turn on the light
          and look in the toilet before I sit down
          because you never know.
          They keep saying, "There is nothing living in there!"
          but ask them to drink out of it:
          they'll change their tune.
I need to change my tune.
          Does anybody know a good place to get jingles removed?
Sometimes I feel at a cultural disadvantage compared to other poets
          because I haven't ever had a drug problem
          been alcoholic
          had an abortion
          been a lesbian
          been colored (I mean, besides beige; I guess Magic Marker doesn't count)
          gotten a tattoo (I guess Magic Marker doesn't count for that, either)
          gotten divorced
          been on welfare (does Medical Assistance count?)
          been homeless,
          but today is the first day of the rest of my life.
I have been hopeless,
          more or less, but that was because I was molting.
I lived in the ghetto once,
          but it was a tiny one,
          and everybody was nice to me.
I was thinking of being polyandrous,
          but the waterbed is crowded enough as it is.
I've never had a criminal record or done time,
          although that may change,
          given our current President.
George W. Bush said on tv
          that the most important thing in his life
          was possessions.
          His handlers seem to be way below standard,
          even for Republican presidents.
          I think his tune needs changing.
And while he's at it, he should change his life, too

©2001 F.J. Bergmann

"Change of Life" appeared on RealPoetik.

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