Craig Cotter

Pink Pill

I met Jason Peralta
graduating college

on Zuma Beach 12/31/99
that last sunset


I've decided
I'll only be with guys

in their early 20s the rest of my life.


I mean
their skin is so soft and oily

their hair too
and there's not too much of it.


The worst is when
you can't find the Latino

with the tattoo.


The worst is when
KJ hasn't been online in over a year.


The worst is when
you’re terminally ill

and you think you should have more time,
and you’re not ready for a new adventure.

Section Two of This Poem

The electricity
that pours into my apartment

seems to be doing
some very magical things.

One of my poet friends
who can draw

hates MFA programs in poetry.
He thinks they have flooded the world with bad poetry

but what if it's just because of electricity?


Plus there's always been bad poetry
and always will be.

Why get exorcised about it?
And plus it's definition by negation,

which can be OK,
it's just not my style

except when I'm doing it


No one in particular
fucked-up Michigan.


Since Hakeem was going into West Hollywood last night
I described KJ to him.

He left olive oil hair product, a black wife-beater
and honey from Spain.

I have planned this to be Section 3 of this poem

My bonsai elms

don't seem to be alive
or dead.


I can't respond to your request
I'm reading Proust.

Now I get so much mail—
some weeks pull one at random

and write a response.
Remembering how some of the greats—
Wakoski, Creeley, Ginsberg, Ignatow, Lennon—
took time to write back.

I'm going to Turkey next week.
Davin asks how long I'll be there.
I'm not emailing back

to tell him I'm staying
till I'm ready to move on.
Then back to Thailand

or home to LA.
I used to have 10 houses
but too much clutter

gave 6 away, sold 3.
Now when I travel
I stay with friends or rent rooms.

Being a billionaire—
if you're not consumed with making money—
simplifies life.

I know billionaires
that monitor their investments.
Some literally spend an hour a week

researching each position.
It does stun me
they don't understand

they could spend 144 hours
reading In Search of Lost Time
or visiting gay bars in Pattaya.

And all the people they can help.

The coffee in my Michigan State mug is gone.
There was a film of coffee that didn't pour out.
It’s evaporated.

When I fill it with water
it has a mild coffee taste
I enjoy.

Thank you for your letters of praise,
questions, requests for advice and money.
Sorry it's unlikely you'll hear from me.

There are 6.4 billion of us.
I have 10 dollars for each of you.
I walk around in cotton shorts

t-shirts (navy blue) and flip-flops.
I blend in.
I don't miss my houses in Manhattan,

Phuket, Rio, South Beach, San Francisco.
I made Ronnie so happy
giving him a 3-story Victorian off Golden Gate Park.

Craig Cotter was born in 1960 in New York and has lived in California since 1986. His third collection of poetry, Chopstix Numbers, is available from Boise State University's Ahsahta Press. Poems from his new manuscript After Lunch have appeared in Global Tapestry Review, poems-for-all, Poetry New Zealand, Dalhousie Review, Court Green, Eleven Eleven, Euphony, The Antigonish Review & Caliban Online. His poems were nominated for Pushcart Prizes 2009-2012. After Lunch was a finalist for the National Poetry Series in 2011.
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