Rodney Wittwer: At Some Point, In Order to Hide,

  Conor Oberst Will Grow a Beard

When brave brushes against abrasive
you get tested:   bow, curtsy,
elbow, see you later.  Bump
& run.  Coke & rum.  You’d like to
even things before skin palls
in the burgeoning light.  After a night
when they offer to fuck you up then
drop you off.  It’s a livery service,
it’s love.  It’ll take me six gins
to catch up.  You’re wearing
that halo again, the one that
leaves me feeling a gimp, stuttering
& blind, a grope in need of a steady
hand.  Don’t blame yourself,
it’s my voracious need
for reciprocity that’s led to this
late night, Conan, drum where
you don’t so much as flinch when
I turn the light on you & your
naked friend. Cactus oozing sap
like a Vermont maple when the weather
turns, blooming into a boisterous,
out-of-season turkey.  Oh
for a balcony!  The sweet
corniness of launching over the edge,
to change the dross to gloss & everything
becomes clear when you finally
walk out the door.  Sapphires are always
purer than what goes against the grain.
I should start temping again.  
Sometimes I think we should blame
Art Carney for everything, no, not him,
the other guy on Gleason, the drinker
who talked to Joe the Bartender so sweetly
& never once forgot to pay a bill.

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