Jennifer Moxley


Dividend of the Social Opt Out

How lovely it is not to go. To suddenly take ill.
Not seriously ill, just a little under the weather.
To feel slightly peaked, indisposed. Plagued by
a vague ache, or a slight inexplicable chill.

Perhaps such pleasures are denied
to those who never feel obliged. If there are such.

How pleasant to convey your regrets. To feel sincerely
sorry, but secretly pleased to send them on their way
without you. To entrust your good wishes to others.
To spare the equivocal its inevitable rise.


Not forced to fall for hideous Phaon,
nor to drift dreamlike from
a Victorian cliff, pursued by visions
of slender limbs, peach-soft hair,
dewy violets clustered
in an unwilling lap, not exiled
on a distant island for writing
smartly about love, not called amoral
nor forgotten, not murdered
by a jealous lover, nor weakened
from drink, did not make an incision
in the veins, never murdered
in a tavern at twenty-nine
nor thought mad, released immediately
from St. Luke's Hospital for Lunatics,

What Was It?

I was eating my dinner alone,
sitting on the living-room couch
watching a movie on TV for company
when the forces your covetous presence prevents
slowly crawled out in fibrous droves.

Without you to follow me with your
clipboard, or record the game my face plays,
masquerading as a cryptic territory
and your field of study, the energy maggots
turned the furniture into an ectoplasmic
mass with the weight of iron: soft but
resistant, a taut balloon against the hand.