Ode to Brad Anderson 1999Ode to Brad Anderson
When he said:
and smiled his smug smile of
liberation and transcendence;
all I heard was:
"I can mess with your head,
make you worry about me.
And I can leave you.
Because there are nobler causes
writing protest poetry about the WTO.
And after this,
lighting incense, to bless myself
and the universe"
He sips from my Nalgene,
places a Zoloft on his plump pale tongue,
washes it down with
my sweet red juice-
infused kava tea,
a dribble staining his kurta shirt.
He tells me that his Tibetan herbalist diagnosed
his depression as an excess of wind in his qi.
And he should eat "cu gua", bitter melon.
I offer him my bright green bumpy cucumber with
the pink slippery insides,
and tell him not to eat the strange furry seeds.
He takes a fork and knife,
cuts small, neat, polite pieces, and
places it, bit by bit, into his mouth,
evoking the panacea gods for another miracle,
savoring his next solution.