HAPPINESS PRODUCTION LINE
—thank you, John Ashbery
We packed Good Times into your satchel,
and also notes on the auroch, that medieval cow.
Don't be so crestfallen, the bandoneon
will be delivered after lunch, in fracture mode.
We can speak tango, collage bricks
and pavers, or stuff like that. Whatever.
There are always dangers in translation, but gde je vetsi
will get you something, in which country I forget.
No, of course we don't make up all our ideas,
we're just following the latest fads, Susie Q.
Or plucking items off the conveyor belts
in our heads; like Xian Mingles, God disposes.
Goodbye, Cruel World—if you won't sit under
the apple tree with me, even in the breezeway built
to your specifications—thank you by the way—
along whose sides we planted hedges sparkling with dew.
(Published in American Poetry Review — 2014)