Poetry

95.

Just how elastic is that stretchy soul of yours?
To how many pointless pastimes must you subject it?
Nothing worse than stagnation.
Don’t tell the dear deer I said that.
I’ve lost count of how
many losing games of solitaire I’ve played, but,
it’s a whole fucking lot.

I suppose I’m upset about the whole deal.
Yeah, the deal that made me lose that game.
I’m kidding, I’m upset about a lot of things.
Usually I’m upset about doing nothing.
It’s not that I do nothing,
it’s just that I do a lot of unimportant shit.
I’m not so sure I have my life together, and
this year is supposed to build my foundations.

I told myself I’d write a poem every day this year.
I’ve kept up.
I’ve lost imagination, I think.
Most of my poems just sound like chopped up prose.
Isn’t that what most poems are, says the voice in the back of my head.

Shut it. You may be right. But my long columns of
uncreative text
have a bone to pick with you.
And it’s not the funny bone.
I wish I was still funny, but my wit
got lost after my last relationship.
Anyway, poetry is a fun challenge that keeps me going.

And it’s not just the poetry. I’m working sort of a
legit office-type job
for the first time in my life.
Yes, I
hate that this feels right to me.
But it feels right to me:
I have supportive colleagues and I
think I might know what the hell I’m doing,
at least half the time.

(Did you read the way he wrote colleagues? Like some fucking yuppie?)

I’m not that good yet. Not that successful. Not that wasteful.
Nor am I working in a city.
Or maybe the biggest little city counts. It always counts.
If we weren’t in quarantine, this neon-masked monstrosity
would count all the coins it sucks from our pockets.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this place.
I just hate that I’m stuck, and not just physically.
Mentally. Emotionally.
The past few weeks have felt like a long muddy rut
out of which I cannot climb, not yet.

Maybe I am becoming a yuppie. I’m relatively young, and
I want to move up. I think I can move up.
I just want to do better.
I want to do important work.
When things settle down, I’d like to
finally see a dentist again. My teeth are looking grim, friends.
That was the most privileged thing I’ve ever written:
I’d like to finally see a dentist again. But it’s true.
I want to make doctors’ appointments and drive a decent car
and work on my fitness, just like a lot of people I know.

The world is weird, and I’m forgetting
all my quirky roots.
This tree is supposed to be fucking
strange and spectacular,
with gnarled branches winding through the sky in flashes of neon brilliance.
I’m supposed to be radiant and eerie in the same glance.
A sick sort of charm that really does no harm but makes you feel
a little uncomfortable.
Not that I like making people feel uncomfortable:
I just think that my best days
were the ones when I read a lot of weird horror
and got really enthusiastic about monster stories.
So I strive for weirdness again.

Thanks, if you’ve made it this far through my chopped up prose.
This has been an autobiographical complaint poem,
and I hope
it hasn’t turned you away.

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