office one day and said, "Have you read the most recent novel by the terrible Michel Houellebecq? I have to talk about it with someone!" And her eyes were blazing and I made her write the name down and I googled it...and she whispered that she probably shouldn't be encouraging people, at work, to read it, but she likes classical music, so it's not—it's refined, you know, if in what which I got it, from the library; I got it, and I took it, to a coffee shop near me, this one that stays open until ten in the evening, and it was a Saturday night and I didn't care for it. The novel. At all. It offended me. Not the part about undressing your Eastern European maid. Who cares about that part...or the loathing of one's family part, which I took to be a French thing...and I loved the description of office life, see that part really stuck with me, stuck, like I felt it and I feel it...the whole not trying and barely caring about your salary thing, the whole long lunches and being bureaucratic and having a guaranteed job thing, and all that, eating the cereal you like, being lazy, being direct or indirect as you see fit, drinking, watching juvenile movies...all of that—but then the main character went to Thailand, on a vacation, and I could see, I could start to anticipate all that pale and pasty northern-European chest hair thing, and its fantasies and impulses and I couldn't continue. And I put it down. ...Then I got this job, at Brooklyn College, teaching biological systems, a lecturer in biological systems and cellular biology, and I love sitting there, in that red and yellow cafeteria in the summertime, when the classes and the stresses and the connect...have mostly know? And I am there in that plastic booth and the school and the summer and I mean...all the heat of it...the malaria-keeps-mutating aspect of it...the strawberry daiquiri of the soul part of it...and that...that made me remember the Houellebecq novel. Or at least the part that I had read of it. Poverty, booze, heat, disease, shame and self-loathing and you're sort of charmed by it. And I wanted—I needed to go back and read that book though I don't have the time to read anything. In this cafeteria, on the campus of Brooklyn College down on Flatbush...where your arc is still sailing, if crashing down, if crashing downward is still sailing, which it is! That's the Death Drive, you know? The whole subterfuge. The whole metropolitan. A whole devastating Charybdis of desire. Isn't it? And I've got to stop grinding my teeth and smiling at strangers on trains in here, among this. But you occupy booths. That's what one does in a city. And you grind down and you drown. Welcome to my city. I've been here for like eight or nine years now. See? I'm basically like the mayor of it.

Freud struggling to overcome inertia to drag his cello all the way
to the gimme! coffee on Williamsburg Strasse.
Lorimar Larry consulted with Metropolitan May. Union Uwe called out.
And we shot Grand Graham in the face.
Whilst Sigismund dragging asked at the Montrose stop,
"Which way Manhattan? I seem to be lost.
Where Guggenheim? Where Saks?
The Heimlich Gugg? Gugg-glug.
The protagonist is choking, understood?"
And she leaned against a lamppost, goggled by aviator
shades and pointed left.
"I'm never against you, you know?" the doctor said.
No response.