7 of 18

(10/20/06) for John Mercuri Dooley. Can you still call it superstition when three palm readers have told you the same news? When I was in Albuquerque for a class in healing herbs for a few months I would go to Santa Fe and read tarot at the psychic fairs and cafes. Money is hard to come by in Philadelphia, but in Albuquerque it was especially tough. One afternoon I traded a tarot reading for a palm reading, and I don't remember the woman's name but she wanted to know if I REALLY WANTED TO KNOW what she saw. Yes, don't be ridiculous I said, YES! She said I would die in my early 40's, which didn't bug me at the time because I was 28 and didn't really trust her. It felt like a bad trade, her fast food meat breath yawning over my palm's short Life Line. Are you sure that's not the Heart Line? I could deal with a short Heart Line. No, my Heart Line and Love Line covered the hand, just deal with it she said. Everyone down there had their own special way of telling you to deal with it, something I look back on with a sharp nod, a resolve of black paint. Okay. And 2 more palm readers gave me the same news years later, the same exact news. There's much to do and I'm annoyed at having to waste so much of my time at stupid FUCKING jobs to pay the rent and keep living. Keep living. There are old men all over the city of Philadelphia, and I'm sure it's the same where you live? They're in the parks, in the Laundromats, in the same places every single time you see them. Routine seems comfortable, maybe after decades of working every day? What an awful STUPID idea this world is, getting people to DO THINGS for money, keep DOING things DOING things STUPID MINDLESS things! Human lives endlessly offered to fulfill someone's greed. Who could these old men have been? If I grow old I hope to be an old man who walks to a different spot every day, gathering other old men with me as I go, writing poems together. I'm annoyed at HOW THINGS TURNED OUT with human beings that has brought so many old men to this ridiculous state of passive breath. Why aren't you writing a poem? Why aren't you painting? Why aren't you protesting the war? And here I am turning 40 wondering WHAT THE FUCK they meant by dead in early 40's!? 44? 44 is early 40's, not exactly half way. And there really is so much to do. You know this, I don't have to tell you, do I? I want to open The Philadelphia Poetry Hotel, a place where poor and working class poets can move to and have low rent, like I did when I moved here in 1986, when no one wanted to be here, and I only needed a part time job to pay the bills. This city taught me how to write poems! No JOKE! It's another way of saying this city taught me to Love the world. Even my angry poems are Love poems, at least I want them to be Love poems right now. I want others to have their own Love in Philadelphia, their own poems, but the city's so expensive now, even I can't afford to just have one full time job, plus read tarot cards on the side to silly old rich bitches I instruct to NOT wear their furs around me! I'm tired of them asking if their husbands are cheating, that's all they fucking care about. When I see the rich I REALLY GET the whole pitchforks and torches at the gates in olden days OH YES! There's very little time, and I don't even want to sleep, sleep is such an annoyance, such a waste. I put sleep to work by doing dream therapy with crystal infused water, which has led to me having astral projections, which has become a series of poems, but at least sleep doesn't feel like lost time anymore. And YES I PLAY THE LOTTERY, you bet I do! It's probably the only thing I have in common with my white trash family, and YES I play the same fucking numbers, you bet! And I'm going to win. And I'm going to open the hotel, and then I'm going to go to the fucking plastic surgeon and have him lengthen my fucking Life Line once and for all! What a bunch of bullshit palm reading is! But I still believe it, until I make it to 45. Wish me luck, I'm seriously asking you to wish me luck.