David Lehman's latest book of poems is The Evening Sun (Scribner, 2002). As a graduate student at Columbia University in 1972, he took a linguistics course with Professor Robert Austerlitz for whom he wrote a paper analyzing the expression "I don't give a flying fuck." The paper was called "Aerial Copulation."






Same Difference
(April 24, 2000)

It occurred to me
today that there's
no difference between
"thank you" and "fuck you"
so from now on
whenever someone says
"thank you" to you
think of it as "fuck you"
OK but what about
the next time someone
says "fuck you" to you
does that mean "thank you"?
No, I'm afraid it doesn't work that way
(he smirked)
That also means "fuck you"
all roads lead to the Rome of "fuck you"
get it?
I do but you don't have to be so
fucking in-my-face about it
Well, fuck you
No, fuck you




from "The Evening Sun" by David Lehman, NY: Scribner, 2002









Writing Them
(July 14, 2002)

                    for Nin Andrews

"I was trying to stop writing them. I thought maybe it was a disease."
I was stopping. I had stopped to write him. In the margin he wrote
"who he?" next to the name. What name? Kincaid. Or maybe Krebs.
I was trying to stop writing him. Who? Hem. Some editors asked them.
"Some editors have asked me to delete the final lines.
Final lines that say fuck you." "Can't top that," said Bottom.
That was the last time I saw him alive.
He said "fuck you" and the other guy said "fuck you."
They had a fuck you relationship. They were on fuck you terms.
So did X but we're not going to Y about Z.
"I have prose ones that are kind of cerebral and dreamy.
Pussy ones that are kind of rude."
Or maybe she was clothed and I was nude.
Some senoritas adore some senors who snore.