Sunday, June 15, 2003

Plagued by Poetry

Writing paragraphs, complete sentences and all that can be hard when you’ve got your eye on a miniature drunkard intent on bashing his head. So, I’ve taken to scribbling notations on scraps of paper, rhymes, sometimes.
Like this:

plausible reality
facts lackadaisically
he tried
Reagan's deniability
Another casualty
To the slow
force fed
to relentless
a reckless
and witless
and believes
new thieves
gets the first bush
and an ill-bred
chaser of tush
don't stop
think about tomorrow
a culture pop
bedtime for bonzo
maria conchito alonzo
edgardo alfonzo
fictionalized sport
diluted news report
the world goes on
ever anon
we eat and drink
but do we think
35 years
countless beers
nuclear fears
a nation in arrears
the pony's one trick
born in violence
shorn of innocence
no resistence
a soft existence
on their knees
subjects to
a shallow rule
people who
learned in school
lord or vassal
you can choose
weigh the hassle
against the blues
purest American art
or one of those lies
a class apart
here's the spin
if i could get a word in
minority faction
affirm this action
not color of skin
but cash in the bank
right district may win
private, based on rank?
or the endowment daddy secures
that spot at Andover then ensures
you're going to Yale
and just try to fail
brilliant white male
classes to flunk
beer to be drunk
choose the right drugs
mischievous lugs
crack on the street
you're certain to meet
police officers
for career counselors
affirmative primogeniture
is what we have
so follow that lure
smoke in the lav
that's all they need
to call you bad seed
then try to apply
to Cal State LA
requests to deny?
all those that say:
from the halls of learning
still have a yearning
to increase your earning
don't look to the state
to change your fate
if you had the dough
or could hit a three
you could always go
No Harvard
but not very hard
to get a degree
not as a handout
as a standout
a scouting report
not Supreme Court
your initiative
money to give
die or live
wait and see
a guarantee
more budget's spent on
than education
in this nation.
just give
will show success
not necessarily
if you see a problem
approach warily
think about them
that have to receive
in possibilities
like a disease
we're all in collusion
collective delusion
wait and see
another administration
restating the nation
of truth
no ruth
look to the past
it's happened before
just change the cast
find a new whore
wool over eyes
what a surprise
grab that prize
manufacture alibis
wait and see
wait and see.

Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but something like that. You can say, “Give me a break, you wrote all that down while you were making lunch and changing diapers and doing laundry and contemplating the infinite, gimme a break…”
To which I’d reply, “You’re right.” I just write snippets, which is actually a great way to write poetry because whenever I try to write too much at once I find I force it. So, I think about a few lines, play with them in my head while watching Dora the Explorer, pull out the pen and paper tucked away in my pocket and jot them down. I do that 40 or 50 times a day and lo, I’ve got myself a poem. The problem is now I can’t stop. I’m rhyming in my sleep. Soo calls and we rhyme our phone conversation, or at least I do, making sure my response to her last phrase is in iambic pentameter, the right diameter, busted catheter, word urine like Yuri Gagarin falls, enthralls, great balls, of fire, taking me higher and higher until, well, you get the idea…
And sometimes, Nathan gives me ideas by the way he behaves. For example, we like to play with Legos (I was going to say “He likes to play with Legos,” but we’re friends I can admit it, I like playing with Legos. There I’ve said it, a grown man, darn near 36 years old, unemployed for more than a year, in debt up to his eyeballs, enjoying playing Legos. Shoot me). However, Nate hasn’t quite mastered the whole put these things together thing. He’s very good at the ripping these things apart thing, which started me thinking. Next thing you know:


Rocking horse winner
Original sinner
Children destroy
Because they can’t build.
But if man is boy
He justifies how he’s killed
Saying: “They did it first.”
First or last, best or worst
What does it matter?
The fat get fatter
The Haves keep having
And the Nots get nothing
Just promises from a false leader.
Think carefully, dear reader
And ask what you’d do
If your hopes and dreams were delivered to you
As only achievable
Only believable
If they happened after you’re dead.
As early as you remember
Clerics and teachers have said:
“You’ll live forever,
see the end of strife
attain that magical life…
only after you’re dead.”
Let that sink in
And I think you’ll begin
To see what we have to choose.
When winners don’t win and losers don’t lose
The game is no fun to play
A bit cavalier you may say
Since lives are already lost,
“Someone must pay.” But at what cost?
No special powers of deduction
Are needed to see more destruction
Will result in more isolation
For one proud nation
Must still know its station.

We can’t live in a world
Where rocks are hurled
And we’re greeted with fear and frustration
Hate, indignation, abomination
Whenever our flag is unfurled

Just thinking we’re great
And working for good
Carries more weight
Than it probably should.

In order to build
We must be strong-willed.
Any selfish boy
Has time to destroy
It takes longer to heal
Whatever you feel
Whatever you believe
When once you practice to bereave
You weave a tangled web of sighs
Your lost one will never rise
Regardless of alibis
You or I
Live or die
I say latter and former
I’m no performer
No mind reading tricks
A voice from the sticks
You’d say former, too
Won’t do
We just have to stop
Playing world cop
Those addicted to killing
Are clearly not willing
To forgo a fix
Without intervention
But one day in that mix
Is beyond comprehension
Feel the tension
It’s another dimension
The slightest mention
Evokes condemnation
The only solution
Is to shun
The gun
at a
No, nothing mystic
Just words from someone who’s intentions are good
Please (lord) don’t let me be misunderstood.
You do what you should
I’ll do what I can
If only you could
Go from boy to man.

So, one thing leads to another.

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