Stephen Vincent

New Advice

Hold on to your hat, your coat, your shirt, belt, pants, underwear.
Close down your skin, your muscle, your bones, your blood.
Hang on to your sperm, your eggs, your delivery or receptive tools.
If they did not come yesterday, they will be here today or tomorrow.
They are not elected. They are self-chosen. If not chosen, they are appointed.
When they knock, point out the hole in their socks, the out of place whisker
next to the beige mole on the chin. Nickel and dime them with petty truths:
The sky is green. The ocean is yellow. The poll results are "interesting."
If they press harder, talk about the sex life between you
and their well known director. Implicate yourself in the pleasure
of providing him or her with normally unspeakable acts. Somewhere between the
lapel and shoulder pad the recorder is on. Your words will kill the tape. This is
evidence they cannot show or replay in public or private. It's your word
against theirs. Call it "a poetry of distraction." In the meantime,
beware the false landscape. Find safe shelter. Anything
may catastrophically drop during "breaking news". Look up
through dark coated glasses. Register the national 1-800 number. Report
instances of fallen debris. Photograph but don't touch. Toxicity may be frequent.
Walk carefully. Preserve vision at any speed.