The Unshakable Infantile Spirit, Part I

I’m a baby, and I work hard
to cover tiny me under thick skin.

I wonder if being a baby is a bad
thing, thinking of my most
compassionate self coming

from baby me, but
I cry, and many people don’t like
people who are so maladjusted.

When I’m working the hardest to
cover, I don’t notice, but sometimes,

when my shell is naturally suiting itself
to me, I look at others and I think
I see that they have baby moments,

and those splitting quick images
make me feel less inadequate, less
alone, but I measure my inside

sensitivities against their outside
shells, knowing better, but I see
they don’t need shells like I do.

At some point, babies decide
that they want to be loved by
everybody, and if one comes

along, not loving, babies like I
feel intense pain, perhaps not
understanding the finicky qualities

of mature humans. I am like
hungry babies about some things;
I want what I want right now, but

I am a big baby, and I don’t want
much, if anything. I always want to
sleep like a baby, but for me,

instead of fueling cell growth, it
helps me relieve the pain of sadness,
and when I don’t get enough sleep,

my emotions are terrible like a baby’s,
my feelings are like tiny slivers of glass
being smothered by sharp rocks,

so I do my best to get sleep, but the
adults don’t like this for they think
I am a lazy asshole. When I became

old enough, I started enjoying alcohol
because the alcohol smothered baby
me, and I built my booze shell that made

me funny and entertaining and fooled
me into feeling a central purpose, fooled
me into a sense of meaning, and alcohol

smashed my persistent depression.

I’m a lucky baby because alcohol
decided to become my enemy, made me
hate the world so severely, and inspired

me to quit drinking with many people
who helped me avoid the deepening
path to miserable death I was on, so

I sit here wishing I could tell you how
embarrassing this is, tell you how
my spirit is so frail, so undeveloped, so

you can see how terrible I feel, but I tell you
because afterward, I can let loose, and cry
and cry and cry until you send me away.


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  1. #1 by Evelyn on June 4, 2013 - 5:57 pm

    More please.
    I like the end bits more than the start bits. You got on a beautiful rollish rant at some point and I rode it to the end…

    • #2 by Carl on June 4, 2013 - 10:22 pm

      I left my editor at home, which was lazy. I cut the blah, blah and I think it’s better. You’re right about rolling. The stuff that stops the rolling needs to go! Thanks for your comment.

  2. #3 by Michele Seminara on June 4, 2013 - 10:16 pm

    Brave poetry! I like the central image of the baby inside….we all have one of those. Take care.

    • #4 by Carl on June 4, 2013 - 10:23 pm

      Thank you, Michele! I appreciate your comment!

  3. #5 by Jamie Dedes on June 5, 2013 - 3:26 pm

    Courage expressed here on many levels. Kudos for that and for a well constructed poem. Poem on, Carl.

    • #6 by Carl on June 11, 2013 - 7:56 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Jamie! I appreciate it.

  4. #7 by clinock on June 6, 2013 - 12:59 am

    The babe, the child cries and then forgets.
    The poet recollects the child, the babe
    and then regrets
    his loss of innocence.
    but he is both and either
    and weeps and sucks
    the milk of kindness
    until sleep.

    • #8 by Carl on June 11, 2013 - 8:03 pm

      Yes, such wise words. I had troubles coming up with any words, but I had the feelings. Thanks for your comment.

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