A Few Poems For You

I spent a few early mornings bent over an ancient typewriter, one I purchased for $15 at a thrift shop two years back. I cleaned the thing up and replaced the ribbon. I’ve been good to it.

In turn, it has been good the me — the typewriter, that is.

Heck, I even wrote my first professional story sale on the thing, before typing it into Word Doc. I call my typewriter “the poetry machine” because it’s perfect for writing poetry, especially at 4 AM, when my analytical mind dissolves and the subconscious takes over. The following poems are a result of a few uneasy, restless mornings. Writing them provided me comfort and joy, and I hope they do the same for you.

BEATING THE CLOCK

I am enraged by death;

I was born with a desire

to go on living beyond my years.

I am an absurd man;

A contrarian to this insensitive universe

which does not take my feelings

into account.

I am the universe.

I take my feelings into account.

My feeling is,

I don’t wanna die.

Life is a fading polaroid —

soon there will be no family

or even very distant relatives

to appreciate it.

Why do people

even take pictures?

Because they think

they’ll be remembered —

but nothing is remembered.

We are doomed to amnesia, and then

there is no ‘we’.

I am enraged by death —-

Can’t you drink to that?

Can’t you understand?

Mortality burns

and we are demanded to love it,

or deny it.

I am writing myself

into the grave,

only hoping to beat the clock.

I am pitting against

Grim Reality;

but at least for now,

you are reading this, gentle reader —-

And I have temporarily stolen Death’s scythe.

DRUNK ON POEMS

A good poem

gets you drunk

without even a stiff beverage

to touch your lips.

That is why

the best poems

are written with spirits.

Multitudinous

One moment,

I am a logical skeptic

without patience for your

silly wool-eyed superstitions.

The next,

I am a devoted mystic,

summoning spirits

at the typewriter

and cursing the muse

when she does not sprinkle her dream-dust

upon my weary, aching, grasping mind.

Restless Writers

Restless energy.

I overeat.

Chew fingernails.

Drink ten gallons of black coffee.

Devour myself.

Yet the best method

for dispelling this slow torture

of displaced being

is to write out the pain —

write out the numb agony

the solitude

and the jitters —

write until

my nerves cease to quake

my brain ceases to boil

my legs cease to kick

and a smile of ease breathes

satisfaction upon my face

and my heart whispers to me,

‘thank you’.

Feeding the Monster

There are nights when I feel

that weary ache in mind and flesh

and am only soothed

by feeding another piece of paper

into the typewriter’s bale.

And I get that sick, lovely feeling

I am feeding a monster.

Can you not hear this

feral growl of my soul?

This poem stares back at you

with hungry crimson eyes.

Unbeknown to you,

gentle reader, you have fed

this crazed, lonesome 4AM poet.

This is fine —-

For we all have monsters to feed.

Productivity

The sound

of

productivity:

CLICK CLACK

CLACK CLICK

CLACK CLICK

CLICK CLACK.

Soothing

as the swell

of ocean tides.

Perfect

as a three-part

harmony:

my hands,

my typewriter,

my open, boundless heart.

A Clever State of Mind

Good writing

is just a clever state of mind.

A shame writers are stupid

most of the time.

But they try, damn it.

I try too, however —-

cleverness, for most

is fleeting at best.

I can feel it leaving already.

And for those who will say

‘you never had it’,

I respond in kind —-

to Hell with you!

After I die,

they can weigh my soul

in the pages I wrote.

Bet it’ll weigh a damn ton.

A Confession About Poets

Poets are liars.

I don’t mean to sound

dramatic — it’s just true.

I know because

I used to be a poet.

What you are reading now,

is simply honesty and

an attempt at humanness.

It may or may not be poetry.

Most poets are liars.

They try to tell the truth, maybe,

but they just don’t know how —

and they end up writing stuff

that looks like poetry

but isn’t.

Being honest is being human.

Notice how the best poems are honest.

The best poems are vulnerable.

They read like beautiful blood —

Someone’s soul dancing upon the page.

That is poetry,

and for those daring enough

to share themselves —-

not just a pose of themselves,

is a poet.

Someone bring out

those lush green Laurel leaves,

and be prepared to wait

a long, long time.

Another Night with the Muse (poem)

The muse sits in the corner

of my room; eyes like

vacant saucers.

I sit at my writing desk,

grasping for an image, a concept,

a sentence. Anything.

Nothing comes.

My mind is like this room,

empty, with an occasional draft.

 

“It’s up to you,” says the Muse,

heckling me from the corner.

“Oh, really?” I ask. “Because,

I’m sitting here at my writing desk

and you’re sitting there

and I’m looking at a blank page

and you’re gazing into the creative abyss

and nothing is happening.

So, who’s fault is this, dear muse?”

 

She smiles.

Like how one does at a foolish child.

She smiles.

 

Back to the blank page.

Oh, Christ.

Back to the blank page.

 

The muse taps my shoudler

I look up at her.

She says, still smiling,

“I can’t guarantee you

magic everyday. Don’t you

think it’s a bit presumptuous

to think I can, or

will?”

 

Then she all but vaporizes into

thin air,

except for that knowing smile.

It lingers in the middle of the room,

suspended. Teeth and lips sway

like a cobweb in the breeze.

Soon it is gone, too.

 

I get back to work.

With the muse out of my hair,

I can finally write this poem.

Dear Muse, I thought We Had A Date Tonight (Poem)

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

I’ve been waiting a long time.

I ordered dinner and drink and

had too much of both.

Now I am overfed and undernourished.

Without you.

 

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

I’ve been sitting at my desk

with my pen and notebook and

you’ve not dropped me a single

line, nor image, nor concept.

What gives?

 

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

I am drowsy, weak without your light.

Life is a black ball clogging my soul.

My sighs are rancid dissappointments.

Dear muse, I have done my job.

Why have you not done yours?

 

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

Now I’ve got a bad, bad headache,

I’m itchy & my clothes don’t fit right.

The earth turns senseless. After all,

what purpose in life if not to create?

Dear muse, I thought we had a date tonight.

The Muse of Creative Agony & Other Such Mobile Perversity

First, a few aphorisms of divine intoxication…

Perhaps the most unappreciated invention of all time: the zero. So unappreciated, in fact, that it can (and often is) used as an epithet. What did the poor zero ever do to us, besides provide the very organization of our numerical system?

*

An imaginative exercise: imagine what your life would be like if your brother (or sister) were an only child.

*

Books are a life support system for the mind. A library is a mental hospital. The reader is the ailed patient. The authors are our doctors, our healers, our cerebral nutritionists. For maximum health, I advise one to read, read, read…

*

Writing is a form of cerebral sex. It just feels so damn good.

The Muse of Creative Agony

As any writer whom has suffered from writer’s block will tell you, the muse can be quite the elusive and frustrating bitch. Once she has been absent for some period of days, weeks, or months…you might even begin to wonder why you bothered with her in the first place. That is, until she returns, and kisses your smitten mind, turning everything exultant and beautiful and ravenous once again. Then you will be saying to the muse, dare you never leave me again! I cannot bare the thought of any length of time without you! Oh yes, and you will be making love to her, night after night, like a return to bliss. Your spirit will be that of a cancer patient upon news of full recovery. You will make love to the muse for as long as humanly possible. After all, no Adam or Eve desires to forsake the garden once he is there.

The muse lifts one up to heaven and upon leaving suffers the artist to the fates of stark gravity. Indeed, the muse is one holy, abusive bitch of agonizing delights – any artist shall tell you. Even writing of her now causes me brief heart palpitations of vague superstition. It is as if she will hear my curses and grievances and out of a cruel and casual spite, totally abandon!

***

Mobile Information

I love to pick up a book of history, science, or art and eagerly consume its pages until my brain begins to feel overfed and lethargic. An evening of learning for me is very much akin to the enjoyment of a large meal.

I like to brain-bathe in the information. I like to swim around in it. Soak in it, relax in it. The goal from there on, is to bring some of this information with me wherever I go, like a traveler’s hefty suitcase. This mobile store of information is what we tend to call, one’s knowledge.

The key, of course, to maintaining one’s knowledge, to keeping it up to date, is to utilize it throughout daily life as much as possible. Otherwise, one is apt to forget his or her learned facts. This is a simple case of cliché: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Whenever we are going about the daily routine, or are idle, waiting in line, driving our cars, riding in an airplane, etc., we must consistently work to compare our learning with our external environment. This is to say, we must work to externalize our internalities and observe if they sync up with each other. If they do not sync, it’s likely our thinking about a given subject is faulty.

 

She Came Back (poem, 4/1/18)

My hands have been emptied,

robbed of their once bloom’d roses!

And I am left with the pitiful,

ragged stems of an afterthought.

My mind is like smoke seething through meat.

My creative morality is charred black,

made all the worse by a vain and hopeless hope.

O’ Great Hope — you downtrodden, immaterial spirit

you wanton ghost of this poet’s lament —

what a waste you are! I spit on you!

All the same, I spit and curse and hopelessly hope

like a desperate fool that my spiteful saliva

is your desired seed, O’ elusive Muse.

 

Never has your absence been so demanding!

Never has your blackness been so back-biting and blinding!

Jesus Christ, you make me want to wrack my brain

upon my writing desk until the forehead draws blood,

you bitch!

I walk the ancient, endless streets and drown in the soiled bars

and frequent our favorite city cemetery;

all the places we used make our love,

and not a trace of you do I find!

 

You ravage me utterly,

while I wait in the eternity of a gutter savagery.

Still, A train blows its whistle far off in the distance.

A sunbeam breaks its way through the window,

shattering glass upon my feet.

I feel that rumbling in my belly,

I feel that pulse quickening in my veins,

that steady thrill of invention

working its way through the neural circuits,

beating my heart for me. I am living again

with a writer’s sturdy hard-on.

At long last, there you are, my blessed Muse!

My ragged stems shoot out rapid sprouts

and the flowers take form once more.

 

The passions of my anger

has returned you to me.

My anger has captured you,

forced you down into the dusty,

burlap sack of my beating heart.

You are mine now, dear Muse!

You can run, but you cannot hide.

No more looking back at my books of poetry,

with all the dreary bitter sadness of the world,

wishing I could write poetry.

No more.

 

This is it,

and there you are,

and here I am.

Let us make our love, dear Muse!

The keyboard is a’waiting

for the eager fingers to jab

and for the spirit in the blood to thicken.

Already, the love has been made.

Round Two?