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I Do Not Tire Quickly

Even if your heart is messy, I will clean it up.

I have no sense of touch, I do not hear the events around me

and haven’t even had a fever for many years.

Since I started using I find I can be much more precise

I take medicine to fix problems caused by my

burning up energy foolishly as I did when I was trying

to arrange life to suit myself

As soon as the light comes in, I go to play tennis.

Talking listlessly into my hand,

I am able to inhale much more deeply

to work longer and fill more baskets

I now go for long walks with my dog.

No hurt or fear penetrates my heart.

My elbow is better now too,

and my neck and my numb thumb

belong to disgraced executives of Enron

They try to turn a wartime walkie

into the beginning of scientific Islamic research

They get angry, flustered, desperate

and even consumed over other humans.

and even though I haven’t won a game yet (!!!)

the breath of life is vivid and arresting

I like to think in hours instead of days

when I eat, when I rest from a day’s work, later in my bed, and so on.

Bertolt Brecht must not be seen

hoping and un-hoping among so many crickets

armed with slingshots and cap guns,

his secrets kept safe in snow forts

He is the main reason I watch this schlock.

The muscles in my arms are starting to show

Then the sun comes out to admire its shapes

Each cut is a treasure.

I live among them and they breathe forth fire

and dogma-spewing Dynasty toadies

I no longer have restless leg

The unusual still pursues me

Unfortunately, tennis has become a rarity

Or I would be the first to join the Communist party

When the battles of the mountains are behind us.


Katie Degentesh

KATIE DEGENTESH lives in New York City . Her poems and writings have appeared in Shiny, Fence, the Poetry Project Newsletter and numerous other venues. "I Do Not Tire Quickly" is part of a book-length series forthcoming from Combo Books in Spring 2006. Each poem in the series is titled with a question from the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) and constructed with the help of Internet search engines.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2005

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