The Scroll is adding to our poetry output with Scroll Verse, a recurring feature which introduces the works of Jewish poets–or in some cases, poets who write on Tablet themes or have Jewish souls. Our inaugural post was Trader Joe by Mike Stutzman. Our latest installment features Alex Dimitrov.
America, You Darling
After every needle finds its way inside me
I’m content and calm and easily turned on
by life. And then I’m here again, on Broadway,
wondering which direction promises
a cab, a God, a merciless mouth.
The world is not ending today
so it’s important to stay in it.
It’s the potential I’m in love with
when I sleep with someone new.
Like Washington will always love
the Washingtons around its sleazy waistband
(George, I too beg for you).
The slim go-go boy on Fridays
doesn’t care about the past or future.
What turns him on?
Your bills (not marriage bills),
attention (not affection),
leaving early with a client, never
coming back. Is it him or Jesus
who lives here among us
and will die a modern death?
See, I don’t like being heartless
I’m not good at it, I quit.
I vote fast, depressed
and every four years
though I’d like to see us happy,
quitting smoking, getting clean.
I stand in my underwear
before the flag, before another man
who promises a lot like our next President.
I have my filthy lips, my shiny teeth
and they are biting—I am biting
into a bloody overpriced steak
after years of being a vegetarian.
Alex Dimitrov’s first book of poems, Begging for It, will be published this coming March by Four Way Books. His poems have appeared in the Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Slate, Poetry Daily, Tin House, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, and he is the author of the e-chapbook, American Boys, published by Floating Wolf Quarterly. Dimitrov is the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City, and the recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Prize from the American Poetry Review. He works at the Academy of American Poets, teaches creative writing at Rutgers University, and frequently writes for Poets & Writers.