After Po Chü-i and Burton Watson
Not too old, not young anymore,
almost three dozen years gone by.
Not a failure, not a success—
my first real job, a job to grow old in.
Some potential, too lazy to use it:
I’d watch TV but I like the window more.
My money gets spent when I have it;
cheap food tastes good too, and a small room’s enough.
Even a smaller room would be fine,
a shelf of old books, guitar with no amp.
The books I just flip through and don’t worry about too much,
the guitar is for noodling around on my own.
Mornings on the bus; I get to the office late.
Evenings it’s back home, go to bed early.
Working out’s too much trouble, and my body’s all right,
some belly to keep me company.
So there you have it, day by day, month after month.
Rereading this poem taped to the wall—
that’s the only reason I wrote it.
No genius, not stupid either.