Today, Who Can I Blame?

I want to unclench my fists,
let go of this tract, this uninhabited
basement, be rid of this grizzly who crawls
through my hair, pulls my eyes to flash
pain points, slams my fingers when I try
to open doors to brightening projects,
slaps me with the back of claws as I seek
glimpses of murky, slickly gray happiness,
throws me down stairs with darkening curves
until I walk blindly in halls, hearing the screams,

You fool, you failure. Who allows you to live
and pretend you make a difference, pretend
you live with purpose? You fool, don’t you see
Momma Grizzly? She tells you to give up, to crawl
out the tiny bathroom window while sliding
on the oiled tiles, pale blue and flu white,
fall into the final resting hell where you belong,
and do you listen? No, you flail about as if
there is some value to the gray matter
in your skull, as if some day you might
feel good, feel fresh, feel worthy.
Son, son, son, stick your fingers
in the dark sockets, tighten
the Baggie over your face.


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  1. #1 by claudia on November 11, 2012 - 10:30 am

    just don’t believe what Momma Grizzly tells you…she’s wrong..and she’s mean…you ARE worthy…we all are, even though we sometimes don’t feel like it

    • #2 by Carl on November 13, 2012 - 8:46 pm

      Thank you, Claudia. You know as soon as you write about the claws, they weaken.

  2. #3 by Val on November 12, 2012 - 7:27 am

    You have to fight back. You’ve also got claws, use them!

    • #4 by Carl on November 13, 2012 - 8:47 pm

      My claws are my little mechanical pencils, but they’re pretty sharp! Thanks for commenting!

  3. #5 by brian miller on November 12, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    dang that is intense…but all too real carl…the monster/grizzly inside that tries to roar loud enough to drown out the good in you…i echo claudia in you are worthy…we all are….dont let it take you…

    • #6 by Carl on November 13, 2012 - 8:58 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Brian. I appreciate it.

  4. #7 by Carl D'Agostino on November 13, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    Keep the glimmer of hope alive. I am subscribed but for some reason am not getting notifications.

    • #8 by Carl on November 13, 2012 - 9:00 pm

      Those glimmers and slivers are good to grab on to. Thank you for the visit.

  5. #9 by clinock on November 18, 2012 - 3:54 am

    FYI As Carl D’A I’m not receiving notifications of your posts. This poem is strong – a long ago time when I was at Fire Lookout school (yes Virginia there is such a thing) run by the British Columbia Fire Service for new lookout persons. At one of our classes someone asked the instructor what he should do if he met a bear. The instructor answered: “Throw shit at it.” The questioner replied: “But what if there’s no shit available?” and the instructor said: “There will be my friend, there will be”….There’s a proven strategy for you Carl…

    • #10 by Carl on November 22, 2012 - 7:48 pm

      There will be indeed. Great strategy! I think the notification problem happens when publishing from iPad.

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