The New York Times


I find it painful to hear people

Lavish praise on The New York Times.

People wanting to sound

Sophisticated and cultivated,

Smart people with bright ambitions

And prestigious jobs,

They speak so intimately of the

New York Times as though a kinship

With the paper carried their affections

To some homey bond,

A category of nearly physical dependency

Like breakfast or a terry cloth towel

After a bath.

Rooms that are warm

With the saturate scent

Of skin and soap, now swelled

With the intimate oil

Of brushed hair.

After Sunday brunch

The private aroma of coffee and print

Goes sulking through rooms and

Sneering through sheets,

Observe fetid sinks

And curling drains

Clogged with shaving cream;

Feel how that heavy

Evaporation of shower steam

Is coaxing the body to

Echo the loud elimination of gas.

Moping across the morning

In slippers and robes, see how

This massive New York Times,

Like flesh grown warm,

Is anchored to tables,

Or blackening sheets,

Piled on rugs or crushed under feet;

This corpulent poundage of the press

Bloats bedroom air

‘till our slackening limbs lie

Curled on our beds.

Oh, let me breathe!

Release me from the pressure

Of these fumes compressed of

Eggs and sweat and beer

Oh let me breathe my air,

My air.


Ted Goodell


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