Tuesday, September 8, 2009

poem of the day 09.08.09

playing artist

back then in the 1980s
although the 1980s don’t seem so long ago
back then i thought the world
could go to hell
i really did
the arabs, the soviets, and the u.s. could do
us all in with nukes
and it wouldn’t matter to me

i waited on it
i hoped for it

that orange mushroom outside the window
of that quiet bedroom of my youth
where i lay on my stomach on the hardwood floor
fat and alone, but never really lonely
a boombox in front of me
playing music that kept me somewhat sane.

i thought, a nuclear war, the end
what did it matter?
did any of it?

the high school heroes
the would-be friends that never called
the girls with their fresh tits
giving away their eyes and everything else
to other boys
none of it mattered, i thought
the dances
the formals
the proms
and the monday morning conversations
about teenage sex in the backseats of cars
one asshole telling another asshole
how he turned some girl out
then looking my way and calling me a fat fuck
telling me that i’d never get pussy

what did any of it matter?
a nuke? the adust landscape?

i had the solace of my room
and the dark dead end street to keep me
until that inevitable moment
the sound of my mother, father, and brother downstairs
living life together
as i lay on the floor, dreaming,
just a spear-carrier in my own existence
already hoping that there was something
more to this life
than all of that other bullshit of squeaking by
of just getting a little something
and knowing that maybe there was
something out there for me
this tangible beast just out of view
music and solace and art
but just not able to strangle my way out of
a pale suburban existence and find it.

and...holy shit
i sit here now
more than twenty years later
buried in poems
and novels and stories
playing artist since the age of fifteen
still not sure if i’ve gotten it right
if i’m either a jack or a king
but damn
if i haven’t loved the feeling each day
since then
the feeling of wanting the world
and wanting it now.

but every once in a while
i look outside the windows
at the ugly street
usually haggard and fed up
wondering if maybe just one bright bomb
could drop
and eviscerate a frieze of trees in the park
or just me as i crawl to work
still thinking in the pit of my stomach
that, hell, maybe that orange mushroom cloud
wouldn’t be so
bad either.

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