I am reading a book of jokes
that looks like a book of poems
double-spaced typing, plenty of white space,
400 pages long.
almost unheard of unless it’s a ‘Collected’
& it’s by a comedian,
the comedian of comedians — Seinfeld
and it’s been 25 years in the making
so you’d think something with heft
like a comic ‘Crime & Punishment’, for instance.
Look, I wasn’t expecting Lenny Bruce or Richard Pryor
but this stuff was tame, kindergarten, Christmas cracker
material, vanilla, timid as marshmallow.
What I wanted to ask was:
where are the pangs, the pricks, the pranks
life has played on you? the prangs of relationships?
Your life couldn’t have been that cushiony, surely?
Life isn’t a beanbag, Jerry. Where is the dark matter?
All I’m saying is, you coulda done better.
After 25 years of nothing in print,
you coulda done better, Jerry. Will you give me that?