Aw, there I go again.
Sorry about that.
It's my combative personality.
I'm only a threat to myself.
You can call off the guards.
I'll put back the commas.
Don't take it personally.


I didn't mean to ruffle your ego.
Didn't mean to imply
that your words are worth less than mine.
I only wanted
an inter-library loan.
I wanted to read the last book
that Lee Harvey Oswald read:
The Shark & the Sardines.
I'm disqualified from reading that?
Sorry about that.
But why do I have to identify myself again?


Why can't I shut up?
Sidney warned me about it
many years ago.
"Mike, someday your big fat mouth
is going to get you
in a lot of trouble."
What insight.
He came back from war with Hitler
a mustang captain
of brave combat engineers,
with hardly a scratch
and never mentioned that
or the Silver Stars.
I have been such a disappointment to myself.
I'm glad he never saw
the accuracy
of his prognostication.
And now I have offended
another librarian.


The loneliness
of the long-distance scholar.
The necessity
to stanch
the bleeding of my wounded ego
where a narcissistic wound
made me arm myself with verbal spears.
I have a sharp tongue.
A razor.
I yam what I yam.
Not sorry about that.
I never shed the blood I might have.
It's good that you didn't hear
what I said to you
when I was alone as usual.
My spears would sink a thousand ships.
You should hear me
cracking up at my own wit.
But I laugh quietly,
so as not to disturb my neighbors.


I will die,
alone in a room,
leaving miles of words
that someone 
will toss in a garbage can.
All my obsessive work for nothing
except my own knowing
that I tried
and gave it my best.
The indexed notes arduously scribbled,
The books attracted like iron filings
to my curious magnet.
The piles of composition spiral notebooks.
The untouched gigabytes.
You have no idea.
I'm okay with that.
I guess.


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