"Nothing Gets Through to You, Jackass"
When Catullus says it,
it sounds more eloquent
than when I say it:
Nothing gets through to you, jackass.
When I forget
to put gas in the gas tank.
When I miss every deadline.
When I accidentally flood the kitchen.
When I buy the wrong kind of light bulbs
and everything I build goes dark
like a condemned building, and the news says
get ready for more of the same,
because everyone we know keeps
flying off this Earth, and it's autumn now
so the leaves are letting go of their branches
as if they too are ready
to evacuate this town,
and one day—whether we like it or not—
we will follow, and my knuckles feel
rough and helpless
and I want to pound my face through the drywall
or heaven: nothing—not reason
or a tender voice—
nothing gets through.
Yes, there are other jackasses.
Better, more accomplished jackasses.
Once, there was even a TV show dedicated
to men who skateboarded from the rooftops
of houses and garages, lit
themselves on fire, kicked each other
in the balls and laughed about it.
But they've got nothing on this jackass.
They had to try to be that stupid.
Me? I am working my hardest, every single day,
to act like a normal person.
But I slam a door when I mean
to say I love you.
I back my car into another
when I'm trying to move forward.
- Matthew Olzmann (from B O D Y)