The False Ideal As Experienced By a Graduate Student
Who is 31 and Makes Only $13,000 a Year

Here is your new beard.
Watch how it bristles
with absolute energy.
You drive a late model Jaguar,
you own a tuxedo.
It awaits the world
under leaves of plastic.
When you wear it,
to some sort of thing,
you toss the cover away
It falls
to the floor.

You contribute vast sums to NPR.
You subscribe to The New Yorker and
are consulted by angular friends
about art, theater, and
the pronunciation of wines.

Your white shirts are crisp as bills,
their collars sharp as daggers.

Yet also this:
(for this is a false ideal,
you know) when you are late
at night
in your wood-paneled den,
surrounded by the quiet books,
and the dark, brooding mastiff,
you log onto search
typing her name.

Brad Ricca was born in Cleveland, OH. His first book of poetry, American Mastodon, won the St. Lawrence Book Award and is available now from Black Lawrence Press, Amazon, and a variety of other places. He has had poems published in The Kerf, The Coe Review, 6ix, The White Pelican Review, Luna Negra, Caesura, Monkeyspank, Black Dirt, and Albatross, among others. He has a website at americanmastodon and tweets @BradJRicca but doesn't really know why.

© Copyright Brad Ricca 2012