71. Song for a Silent Treatment.

I told her, in plain language, how I felt.

And by that I mean I mumbled a poorly

paraphrased and already cryptic passage

from one of Yeats’s later poems.


When she asked, “What was that?” I said, “Nothing.

Nothing. It doesn't matter.” It mattered,

of course. “Ma vie est usée. Allons, feignons ... ” 

On second thought, it doesn't matter at all.


The fuel in the sun is finite. It must be.

But I guess I won’t think that in L.A.

I’m inattentive the way a husband is — 

confident there’s always tomorrow.


Warm July wind in the downtown square

where the U.S. bible industry’s located.

Your hair blowing about, not saying much,

the last time someone seemed happy to see me.

Bibliographical info

David McGimpsey, “71, Song for a Silent Treatment.” from Li’l Bastard. Copyright © 2011 by David McGimpsey. Reprinted by permission of Coach House Books. 

Source: Li’l Bastard (Coach House Books, 2011)

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