Who knows who's telling the truth?

Playwright Richard Greenberg in last Sunday's NY Times Magazine:

"Well, when someone says they admire your work, who knows who's telling the truth?" he fretted. "But you know what, I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind."


I was talking to Paige the other day for a story she's doing for the Santa Barbara Independent and she was all, how come you never post poetry anymore? And I was all, Whoa! Haven't you heard? Americans hate poetry! Poetry is for fags! And then I realized that it was finally spring and the chicks were chirping and I should lighten the fuck up.

Here's a poem I like a lot, it's the title poem from Lizzie Skurnick's book Check-In.


I'm just calling to check in.
Do I still have to check in?
Maybe this time I'll scoot past the manager,
Slip a five to the Dick
In the phone booth,
Stick a fat book in the fire door.

Or I'll sign a lease on a six-room apartment.
I'll buy a house that overlooks the Hudson.
Mort and the guys
Are coming over Tuesday
To pour a foundation for the outdoor patio.
Better watch your step.

I've been missing you all of these hours.
My love for you is red-hot.
That span between "Hey" and "Good-
Bye" was an elm tree
Burned to an ash-heap,
A sign blinking open and opening.

My love for you is the hotel register
Opened to the thirtieth page
Swimming with brown and blue ink.
My love for you is an overheated pool
And a swollen movie magazine.
My love for you is five o'clock in the morning.

My love for you is five o'clock
In the morning, two sheets
Of paper crumpled at the bottom of the can.
Someone left a bathing suit on the hook.
The air conditioner is turned up to high.
A car is pulling away from a door left wide open.

Used by permission