29 August 2007

The First Law of Thermodynamics (I Stole This Poem From A Drunk Guy)

Ah, this place or this
moment, or maybe
this self I've become-
who is always in love
and miserable...

Lonely, ecstatic, tired, so tired-
wired into that suicidal survival trip,
restless, relentless, unrepentant,
and sad, always sad...

Not about Fate, or the world,
or all the lovers who were more
than lovers, the friends
who were less than friends,
all those who wouldn't or couldn't
live up to my expectations.

(I can't even live up to my expectations)

...but sad! sad! because life is beautiful,
yes, but also horrible and tragic and stupid-
and it's a fucking mystery what the whole
goddamn point of it is-

Or if there is one,
or if, by asking the question,
you create the meaning,
or the lack there of...

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Life feeds on Life) or (Why I Am Not a Vegetarian)

You can steal my work
call it your own, do whatever
the fuck you want to with it-
You can fuckin' have it.

But if you think I stole this or that,
"Go fuck yourself!"

Everything is stolen: this life,
the next one, the air you breathe,
the food you eat, the life you take,
the one you give, the one you receive-

Stolen, all of it stolen!!

But I wrote this and those other things,
whether you like them or not-

And don't tempt me 'cause
I'm liable to write some more,
which will probably be
even worse than this.

The Third Law of Thermodynamics (Ennui vs. Entropy)

There are laws for everything-
of sines, cosines, the jungle, averages,
particle pleasures (I mean partial pressure!);
a law of parsimony, which defeats poetry
only to be conquered by poetry and vice versa;
the law of means, a law of refraction,
reflection, of nations, motion and thought,
which states:

"Any of three basic laws of logic,
including the law of contradictions
(nothing can be both true and false),
the law of excluded middle
(everything can be both true and false),
and the law of identity,
which says any proposition implies itself.

Then this girl at the next table says
she was a stripper for one night,
had quit and never went back-
I think she's lying, but then again
that's my opinion, neither true or false.

Only moments before she'd condemned
a man who had never left this town,
which is a million miles away,
or seen the world or other cultures-

I had to tell her that even people
who have traveled the world sometimes
only see what they want to see
and never change, or grow or know
why it is you have to rail against
the stupidity that infects us all.

And she shut up for a while,
seemed slightly humbled-
but here she is again talking about
being a stripper and I still think she's lying,
either nervous about the moments
of silence between words, or too afraid
of letting anyone else sound as sure
and smart as she thinks she is.

No wonder I hate her, she's just like me-
God! What an Asshole I am;
oh well, fuck it. She's either terrified
of life or herself, or something else
and I shouldn't waste my time
or my words.

27 August 2007

Far From the Madding Crowd

This is the thing you have to do:
you can never give up your dreams,
no matter how depraved they or you
become; even when they tell you that
you have to grow up and become some-
thing you are not, and never could be,
even when they tell you what you're
doing is killing you, is killing them,
because in truth they are the ones
who are killing you; they are the
ones who stab their knives into your
hopes and claw out your eyes with
their honest concerns and clich├ęd
fears of what people will think of
them if they ever knew you by name,
or had once called you their friend;
and this fear, the fear of what other
people think is the long, slow death,
the poisonous crawl towards cancer
of the soul; one must always be weary
of the ones who have your health and
sanity in mind, and are not intimately
concerned with their own, for these
are the truly mad ones who will drown
in the shallow waters and not make it
to the deep end; that is their ultimate
fear: to die alone, never sure if there
is a god or if there is a hell, too afraid
to cut the rope they hang themselves by.

But you must also be weary of your
self, because all the others, the addicts,
the freaks, the lepers and martyrs will
count you as one of their own, call you
a fellow, a brother, one of them, but
they will never amount to the demon
that possesses and consumes you,
who is also frightened of dying alone,
and who will take you with him; this is
the creature you must always, always
keep an eye on, who is hunting you while
your back is turned to the mirror, who
opens his eyes when you close yours
and seeks to pacify the far madding
crowd that calls alternately for your
blood and your salvation, those whose
shadow is your own and what is bred
in the bone...

That which is taken for truth shall never
amount to much, and neither will you,
but that isn't important; the thing to do
is never give up your dreams, even when
they begin to dream you, this is natural
and unnatural, what is written in the blood
and across one's face: the truth, simple, complex,
deep, shallow, what is lost in translation
and what we think we understand; even
the moments we think define us, which
are nothing more than moments.

24 August 2007

Love Poems are for Weaklings (3 am Love Poem)

y'all become conversations in my head
and constellations in my night sky,
i see your faces etched in stars moving
away from me at a hundred, million light
years a second, and when I blink,
you're gone, and only the supernova of my
memory tells me anything has ever happened.

another sip of wine and I can't remember
what it was like to hate the dawn so much
that it would burn all my bridges,
break my heart or leave me dreaming
of the last night on earth we spent
together before the world ended

I have no discretions anymore,
can't even tell myself when to say no
to the voices in my head, or when
to shut the fuck up. I chain smoke
my suicides to death and dream
of the next time I fall into the same trap
my heart has layed for me a thousand
times over and that I will fall into
a thousand times over again.

I can smell you on a Tuesday morning
when I haven't quite woken up from that last
dream we shared, but the lingering odor of your aura
hangs about my bedside table making
curly-ques in the lamp light well past dawn.

08 August 2007

The Old Man

Here I am in this loud, crowded bar, sitting, listening to this weathered soul expound his own greatness, his modesty on display elsewhere. Part of me doesn't want to be here, wants, in the way the soul aches for itself while still doubting its existence, to be free of, and from, something. I drink my beer and listen to him tell his stories, a spark in his eyes. He's been here for a while, he's cheerful, still full of vitality. He's drunk.

He's made for himself a profitable little rag of a newspaper, "serious journalism" he says, and I don't dispute him. Harry Bright, by dint of his ancestors, bears strongly his Scottish heritage, his simple beginnings in Oklahoma amidst the poverty and ignorance of the rural South. He bears the scars of Vietnam, the failed dreams of an entire generation that has become the thing it despised. He's almost itching to kick off, not wait around for what comes next, how far the mighty will fall, or what will be left.

He sits and talks of all the great books, the great writers, the great politicians and how the world should work -then he sits back, momentarily sober, the sanity slipping back in and out again, an ebbing tide allowing him to weather the storm of life for another day, another week, another month, another year...

As he talks, I sip my beer and dart my eyes around the room and back to his face. His eyes, though bright, are duller than usual, sunken into his face, his cheeks red. He shows his youth and his age in the same gesture, though he is a pale imitation of the young, idealistic fool he once was. My beer becomes an empty glass I roll between my hands, unsure if another wouldn't hit that magical spot between divine intoxication and drunken foolishness.

Birght seizes the opportunity. A lull in the conversation and the juke box causes him to stand, a bit wobbly, and point to my empty glass that used to be a beer.

"How 'bout another," he says.

"Well, I probably should call it quits for the night..."

"What, now?" He seems startled, his face pulling up into a whince, his shoulders rising to meet his confusion. "Come on -have another. I'll buy. What do you want?"

It was decided -another beer would come, I would drink it, and this night would join the rest somewhere between eternity and tomorrow, never as clear as it had seemed at the time, only a vague recollection of what had been said. All the nights of my life, the lonely ones, the drunken ones, the ones forgotten for their wonderful simplicity, the ones that only seem like a dream now; all the nights of my life are recorded somewhere for the blind eyes of God to read. And somewhere, in all those thousands of nights and days there is a lost portion of my soul that believes tonight has happened only for the first time.