Posts Tagged Failure

Let Me Rest After the Screen Is Blasted

I wish I could tell you all,
and fill this tiny screen, say

everything, leave it right here
on this screen, say it all, and then

never come back, sit on my porch,
strumming a broken guitar,

blowing on a wilted clarinet,
smoking a cheap pipe, never

coming back to your world,
telling you about all there is

on this screen, maybe fill the
screen, but tell you everything

and never come back, walk into
the front of a cement truck doing

seventy, never coming back,
fulfilled that all has been told,

knowing there is nothing left
inside me so I can go meet

that Mac, go away quickly
without a peep of noise, being

empty, never to come back.
Take away the severity

of despair, fill my tank
with the end, shut me down

forever. Let me rest, let
me loose from this agony.

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11 Comments

I’m a Sick Little Child, and Why Do I Lie about it?

When I get angry, I pause
in the tension,
just a baby,
no reason to be angry,
but I’m bubbling angry,

so I hate myself
for that.
I hate the child in
me who will never grow
up, never be cured.

I’ll tell you I don’t get angry.
I get sad, I get depressed,
I get relieved when
lucky, but I lie and say
I don’t get angry

because I don’t want to be
a little child nor a scary
monster, so when
I get angry, I hate
myself and remember

that I was poorly designed
for this world.

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My PAD Was Super Bad

An apology doesn’t seem necessary, but sometimes I like to work at explaining my failures. I thought the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day effort for National Poetry Month would be a good thing for me to join in on, but I should have considered it more carefully. (I wanted to understand why some things get a day, some a week, and then poetry gets a month. Puppies only get one day, and if I were in charge, I’d give puppies a whole month and strip poetry down to one day with the side benefit of only needing to write one poem each year in celebration; however, I think it’s not that way because puppies don’t need much help in being lovable, but poetry sure does.)

I didn’t start PAD until the fourth day, clearly demonstrating my propensity for procrastination, but I thought no problem, Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Left Me Dead Alive?

If the music gets loud enough, I feel
the escape of despair, and I scream
with dizziness, though I never say it
as well as the musicians, and I’m left
wondering why I’m pale and so muted.

Freedom, let’s catch the bus as it leaves
the station, jumping up and down on the tin
roof, grabbing the crumbling cement,
passing under structures meant to bury
us, swallow us, throw us away.

Superman and I rage against the wind
as we jump from rooftop to polluted roof-
top, scrambling to locate our missing
hearts, rumbling through city forests,
making pancakes out of cement trucks.

Screaming in my twisting intestines,
coughing, blowing out clogs, who is it
who shut me out from my art, who has
splayed me, sucked out my screams,
removed my hums, left me breathing?

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In Case You Didn’t Know

A day late, and always short on dollars, here’s my shot at PAD 11, a challenge to write a poem involving the phrase “In case…”

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In Case You Didn’t Know

The lady in front of you, crawling,
intensely tight, lacking a gas pedal
is not attempting to make you late
for work. She had eye surgery two
weeks ago, and not one of her four
children was willing to take her

to the doctor today, that the boy
presently trudging across the bridge,
looking up as if looking for a space-
ship is not contemplating suicide
by jumping off the bridge as you have
concluded, mostly because you
have never seen someone walk
across that bridge and he does look
spaced and gone from this world,

that when you are thinking you
are a failure, you might be wrong,
that when you also feel gone from
this world, you are here, and some
slice of fucking goodness makes
you persist in this increasingly

futile activity, that sometimes, no
matter how hateful some may seem,
sometimes, some people like you,
that they are battling demons and
they grip tightly to prevent you from
seeing this in them, but you don’t
talk and no one talks to you,

so in case you didn’t know, you are
not alone, but life is the loneliest
plot created by those before us.

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Revolutions – This Isn’t a Poem, but I Don’t Write Fucking Essays

Here today, things started to change dramatically.
Do you know, when I just said that, I knew it was false,
but it’s hope, so fuck ’em. So for a few minutes, I thought,
I might be a writer. To me, that meant I might be a decent

human being. I have this blind sense that humans need to
have a central purpose, a reason for going on despite all
the facts that seem to recommend action to the contrary, but
it is blind because I don’t know other humans well enough

to know that they need a purpose. In fact, often, I wonder
how these integrated, bloated masses of people get along
without purpose because they simply trudge through, yes,
contented, but vacuous, contented with eating three meals,

with chips and snacks and pops, and weekend trips to the
lake ( THE fucking lake), and working on these schedules
that are preposterous, barely having time to hug the dog,
rarely awaking without an alarm designed to send humans

into blind destitute, where they don’t know how empty all of the
facades are, and I sit here, wanting to spit on my new pants,
wanting to throw the cafeteria tray across the room, blowing
out the perfectly-clean window which teases me with a Zen

garden that is never used for true purpose, not for lack of need,
but because the minds are entrapped in this buzzing hum
of doing what responsible adults and other gurus have told us
we are meant to do, despite our god-given sense that we waste

this gift of life every day, each day with these millions of
moments that spin down clockwise through snake-cleaned
drains made of the detritus of all of the gold we mined in the
good days when living in a tent and eating smoked rabbit

was a good thing. Here I am praying for a revolution that will
turn me into a writer and allow me to live out my days,
comfortable in some sense of purpose, praying that there
are people who might read and might be changed in the

slightest, because if I can touch a few people with writing and
eat a bit of rabbit, what would be wrong with me, but I’m scared
in the end, remembering those nightmares of walking out of
my tent and hanging myself with heavy rope on the sturdy,

horizontal limb of the old oak tree, ending what seems to be a
useless quest, a useless longing to rid myself of this vast,
empty purposelessness. And here I am wondering what kind
of stupid fuck would write about writing, and I stop. I’m due

back in my cubicle.

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17 Comments

Brahms, Revisited without Tears for Today

Johannes Brahms

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Brahms, Revisited without Tears for Today

Brahms has the twitchy fuse,
lighting me in acidic
flames and the arguments inherited
from old elephants, between piano and orchestra,

are trudging – me, I verses the world,
and I’m losing
but I’m pounding the keyboard
until I get a break, a breath, a sigh,

and I show this grace
that is un-Brahms
but is
Brahms at his greatest,

and when the horns arrive
in red army coats, you know
victory is grasped with dirty,
dry, crisp finger nails, but it

never happens, never consummates.
I am finished, a heaping
pile of slippery dung
when Brahms is done.

And as a practicing drunk, the tears
would wilt tarnished cheeks and create heat
emanating around thorny eye sockets,

but these days are desert dry, pain layered
and hidden and only Brahms, only the
master knows, knows the truth, and now,
at least I rest, I stop, I pray, lost.

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p.s. – Embedded below is the referenced piece, performed by my favorite conductor and one of my favorite pianists. The exposition of the first movement lasts 3:45, so patience is needed in waiting for the arguments between piano and orchestra. The climax/recapitulation of the first movement at about 13:20 is one of the most intense sections of music I know along with the ending of the first movement. It is immense music. The third movement is a kick ass jam if you make it that far…

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9 Comments

The Carved Carcasses of Cranial Cacophony

Sitting, uncomfortably warm, clammy, I plotted
drawing a picture with words but all that I could do
was come up with a title. I love the title, but now
I couldn’t possibly tell you what it is that I feel

as I have fallen into this crevice of my spirit, a jagged
pair of cliffs pinning me to my feverish desires, showing
me fields of acres of perfectly windswept snow with
three little blades of Kansas grassy stuff protruding

to warn me away, to ask me to take the dullest carving
knife and start splitting out all of those parts of my
defective brain, hoping to pinch off bits of the ravaged
spirit, pulling from the sinewy brain mush stuff that

tears like fat on prime rib. Some animal from
another corner of the barren field yells to tell me
that if I sever my brain, I will lose my life, but I yell
back, “but I will feel much better.”

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10 Comments

The Birds Mock Me, But Harry Loves Me

Wandering madness catches me briefly
after I skip exercise, after I stress over
my lack of discipline, and the birds come around,

they mock me, but it’s not personal,
and the pigeons vibrate detestably, so I
send Harry through the sliding glass door, and

while he smiles, he makes a lazy but quick lunge
at the pigeons, causing me to wonder whether they
can take off quickly enough, but they plod like

C-130s and off they go, and I wonder, where do
they go with such sloppy bodies. My enjoyment
of Harry’s antics, his smiles and circling tail, his

wiggly glances, sideways, quizzing my sleepy stare,
my enjoyment chugs uphill, fights my shame,
and I stay right here with Harry,
for a moment.

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10 Comments

Inside a Flagrantly Violent Sheen

I am watching the clouds go by,
sitting, myself, not the clouds,
in a giant spaceship, and the clouds
are so relaxed, belligerently cheerful
and nonchalant. They don’t speak

but listen carefully, dragging memories
of careless days when I threw
rocks across the wasteful tar roads.

I work at reading some good stuff,
but nothing strikes me with reward, so I

concentrate and the fine but random
patterns in the caramel-dipped wood,
which is singing to me about the cause
of my loneliness, humming about my
broken spirit, asking me why I slouch

in bubbling detestation of my inability
to be good in the world, and I look up
to see that we’ve left the clouds behind
and there is only a sad lull of the blue
that wraps itself in the flagrantly
violent sheen of an evil sun.

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11 Comments

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