Dramatic Monologue

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

Progressive Health

We here at Progressive Health would like to thank you
For being one of the generous few who've promised
To bequeath your vital organs to whoever needs them.

Now we'd like to give you the opportunity
To step out far in front of the other donors
By acting a little sooner than you expected,

The Moss of His Skin

It was only important
to smile and hold still,
to lie down beside him
and to rest awhile,
to be folded up together
as if we were silk,
to sink from the eyes of mother
and not to talk.
The black room took us
like a cave or a mouth
or an indoor belly.
I held my breath
and daddy was there,
his thumbs, his fat skull,
his teeth, his hair growing
like a field or a shawl.
I lay by the moss

The Cab Driver Who Ripped Me Off

That’ s right, said the cab driver,
Turning the corner to the
Round-a-bout way,
Those stupid, fuckin’ beggars,
You know the guys who
Walk up to my cab
With their hands extended
And their little cups?
You know their problem?
You know what’ s wrong with them?
They ain’ t got no brains.
I mean, they don’ t know nothin’

His Carpets Flowered

— how we’ re carpet-making
by the river
a long dream to unroll
and somehow time to pole
a boat

I designed a carpet today —
dogtooth violets
and spoke to a full hall
now that the gall
of our society’ s

corruption stains throughout
Dear Janey I am tossed
by many things
If the change would bring
better art

but if it would not?
O to be home to sail the flood
I’ m possessed
and do possess

Fra Lippo LippiFra Lippo Lippi

I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do, — harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!

Subway Seethe

What could have been the big to-do
that caused him to push me aside
on that platform? Was a woman who knew
there must be some good even inside
an ass like him on board that train?
Charity? Frances? His last chance
in a ratty string of last chances? Jane?
Surely in all of us is some good.
Better love thy neighbor, buddy,
lest she shove back. Maybe I should.
It's probably just a cruddy
downtown interview leading to
some cheap-tie, careerist, dull
cul-de-sac he's speeding to.

François Villon on the Condition of Pity in Our Time

Frères humains qui après nous vivez,
Soon they’ ll have the speed freak twisting
On a scaffold, soon the birds
Will come to peck out his eyes, & when
He’ s too weak & exhausted to turn
His head away, they’ ll do it, too,
They’ ll peck his eyes right out.
You’ ll want to watch it happen, you’ ll want
To witness it. You’ ll want to see Paolo
And Francesca almost touch before
They’ re swept away again, him in one line
Waiting for rations, her in another one,
Both of  them naked, standing there,