Bile

i

My thing is kind of like, you know, the lie,
the lure of personal productivity,
with many of my friends exhausted now.
It’s sort of bad. It’s really sort of bad.
My sense of self, at best, is notional.
The gurus and consultants charge a fee
and talk about the management of time,
while back at home their kids are smoking weed,
their wives involved in multiple affairs,
upended by the darker urgencies.
I’ve been to all their seminars, but still
I think a lot about futility
and what to do when everything goes wrong.
I walk my dog and like a glass of wine.

ii

I have no action plan if things go wrong,
and neither do my friends, exhausted now,
upended by the darker urgencies.
The gurus and consultants charge their fees.
Their wives, embroiled in multiple affairs,
have figured out the management of time.
It’s sort of bad. It’s really sort of bad.
There is no future in futility.
My thing is kind of like, you know, the lie.
I walk my dog and like a glass of wine.
The path of personal productivity
is long. I go to seminars, but still
my sense of self, at best, is notional,
and back at home the kids are smoking weed.

iii

Some wives, I’m told, have multiple affairs
and do not go to seminars, but still
they speak of personal productivity
and methods for the management of time.
What do we do when everything goes wrong?
It’s sort of bad. It’s really sort of bad.
Perhaps your sense of self is notional?
For me, I walk my dog and drink some wine.
The gurus and consultants charge their fees
to friends of mine, who are exhausted now
and think too much about futility,
while back at home the kids are smoking weed.
My thing is kind of like, you know, the lie.
I can’t forget the darker urgencies.

iv

I’m rather given to futility
when so much in my life is notional.
My thing is kind of like, you know, the lie.
I think about the managers of time
upended by the darker urgencies
along their paths of personal productivity.
I walk my dog and like a glass of wine.
My many friends, they are exhausted now,
and some are having multiple affairs,
while back at home the kids are smoking weed.
It’s sort of bad. It’s really sort of bad
when everything imaginable goes wrong.
The gurus and consultants charge their fees.
I’ve been to twenty seminars, but still…

v

The cost of personal productivity
is sort of bad. It’s really sort of bad.
Consultants from Connecticut raise the fee
while back at home their kids are smoking weed,
upended by the darker urgencies.
I cogitate upon futility
and walk my dog and drink a glass of wine.
It’s what I do when everything goes wrong.
I’ve been to all the seminars, and still
the wives are having multiple affairs.
They’ve learned from gurus how to manage time.
My sense of self, at best, is notional,
and friends of mine, they are exhausted now.
My thing is kind of like, you know, the lie.

John Foy

John Foy

John Foy’s new book, Night Vision, was selected by Adam Kirsch as winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize and was published by St. Augustine’s Press. It was also a finalist for the 2018 Poets’ Prize. His first book is Techne’s Clearinghouse. His poems have been included in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, The Raintown Review Anthology, and Rabbit Ears, an anthology of poems about TV, and they have appeared widely in journals and online. He lives and works in New York.
John Foy

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Author: John Foy

John Foy’s new book, Night Vision, was selected by Adam Kirsch as winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize and was published by St. Augustine’s Press. It was also a finalist for the 2018 Poets’ Prize. His first book is Techne’s Clearinghouse. His poems have been included in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, The Raintown Review Anthology, and Rabbit Ears, an anthology of poems about TV, and they have appeared widely in journals and online. He lives and works in New York.