Joel Bettridge is the author of two books of poetry, That Abrupt Here (The Cultural Society Press, 2007) and Presocratic Blues (forthcoming from Chax Press). He co-edited, with Eric Selinger, Ronald Johnson: Life and Works (National Poetry Foundation) and his critical study, Reading as Belief: Language Writing, Poetics, Faith is forthcoming from Palgrave in Fall 2009. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of English at Portland State University.
Courtship in the Age of Youtube
Inevitable, the time clock that hangs around in your sinus cavities, the tension of
inhaling and exhaling and checking your inbox, at
a customary stage, not, steady enough, to take your jeans off
not, at ease enough, to refrain from it,
your words as to the vagueness of an end game.
I’ll send you a clip from a popular sketch-comedy television show, and one of a man
who injures his ankle in a gruesome way;
in between I’ll watch a hot girl do something, Saddam hanged until dead, and
trade you one kind of unfreedom for another,
and act toward your
but a team of scientists finds a gigantic ring of invisible material left over from
the ancient collision of galaxy clusters; they announce it as this most
convincing evidence for the mysterious stuff called dark matter; but an
online social network popular with teenagers shares with state attorneys
the identities of members who are known sex offenders.
I’ll send you a clip of the gayest weatherman ever,
I’ll send you a clip of Japanese people, and a drunken kitten.
Let me treat you like a sparsely inhabited or virtually unsettled land—
let’s do what robots do.