Friday, September 18, 2009

poemS of the day 09.18.09


i wonder what i would’ve been like
as a kid
without that disguise of lard and fat
without the shirts that never fit right
the polyester pants,
if i weren’t forced into the role
of laughing stock and blubbery stereotype.

i wonder what i would’ve looked like
or the fact that what i looked like
would’ve mattered to someone else.
what would my personality have been?
light? affable?
or still lonely, dark, and brooding?

i’m curious as to who my friends
would’ve been,
having my choice of anyone
instead of being lumped in with the cast-offs
and whomever else was left
and couldn’t get away fast enough.

what would her lips have tasted like,
my alternative first love?
my requited crush?
would i have fucked somebody else
way before i lost it
at almost twenty years old
on my bedroom floor
to a girl i told i loved
but wasn’t even sure that i liked

how much more cunt
would i have seen,
had a not been a beached whale resting
in those lowly corners?
would i even be here now, writing poems?
would i have met you, my beautiful,
patient wife?

and i wonder who my gods would’ve been
surely not those old literary lions
that i carry along with me now.
there’d simply be no need for them
in that world.

and my parents
i’m willing to bet they would’ve looked at me
differently too
back then
looked with hope and anticipation
instead of pity and fear.
they would never have needed to lie
to me.

would i need the drink?
would the succession of pointless, meandering jobs
have ended sooner,
were i happy, fit, and well-adjusted as a child?
the wanderlust have never come?
could my heart have mended faster?

these are the questions, good and bad,
that a man sometimes
asks himself
sitting there so many years after the deluge of time
his chest pounding out the past
as the wine bottle gives its last drink
as life farts into the morning sky
as birds wrestle on the pavement
for pieces of stale bread
and the rest of us wrestle the fates
for just a little peace of mind
the chance to forget ourselves
and our sordid histories
every once in a while.

oh jim
-for jim carroll

oh, jim
too often
i fly down to
where the green grass
turns brown
where the sky becomes
ugly blood
and i mingle with
my black soul

and that’s why
i wrote what i did
about you
in that poem
comparing you to that
b-list actor.

i have no sense
half the time
and the other half
i’m just looking to make hate

but here
i am in this bar
listening to two assholes
talk about the actor like they
knew him
while i’m trying to read poems
by carl miller daniels
and get down this cheap beer.

he was a good guy
they said of the actor, jim,
but no one is really a good guy,
and they don’t even know who
you are
at least not the way some of us did

that downtown spirit
that heroin dirt
all the years you put in living
through the void

jim, we all miss you man.

can you ever forgive me?
oh, jim
this is the poem
that i was meant
to write.

1 comment:

Ally Malinenko said...

two excellent poems, jay. beautiful.