Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Why I Write, Part x+276: Petty Revenge

You told me I couldn't; that I'd quit, and thus fail.
This meter's the rhythm to which I shake my tail.
You told me my passion's a big waste of time.
Each new poem is my middle finger, in rhyme.
Every artist has critics, and each man enemies,
and they bite, and they suck, like mosquitoes or fleas.
But unlike the insects I'd rather avoid,
My critics I spite, pouring words in the void.
If I could, I'd leave all of them buried in those,
Under verses and rhyme, and a mountain of prose.

Why I Write, Part x+275: My Passion to Write Something Good

While my passion to just play with words
Is frequently delighted,
My passion to write something good
Remains yet unrequited.
The fact that my next project
Will forever be my best
Was once a fledgling theory
Longing deeply for a test.
I once struggled getting started,
and I wondered simply “how,”
But that young theory passed the test
O're two thousand times by now.
'Tween my works that are in progress
and those that simply are,
An apple and an orange grove
Are the closer pair by far.
There's no sense comparing my work,
A pig-farm's worth of turds,
And new, God-inspired concepts
Unsullied by my words.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

4D Chess, No GPS

I fall through the minutes and hours of days
Which fly by as if I'm skydiving through haze,
And as the last seconds of youth hurry by,
Though no one knows how, I have figured out why.
There's nothing within them to which I'd hold on,
So I spend that time waiting, and wishing it gone.
I though I had dreams, plans, and things to wait for,
But that thought is so old, I don't know anymore.

I Spy

On the ground, I see less with the dimming of skies,
But there's much more to see if I just lift my eyes.
The space station is easy, and puts me on guard,
As the lights dim, to begin spotting stars.
Meteorites give me something to do
While the dim Milky Way slowly comes into view.
If I'm not Sirius about following Mars,
I could spend every night of my life counting stars.
As the sun rising ends my game of celestial I-spy
I recall that Venus is the brightest object in the new-moon sky.

To a 1979 Honda CG—After Parting

I miss your curves. Or rather, I miss ours,
The way we handled them together.
I feel the convection inside,
Feel jealousy's magma start to rise
When I see another man out for a ride
Leaning deep to one side. I miss sitting astride
Your steel and your gloss, and my own design.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

What's Wrong?

My head aches when it might otherwise ache.
I feel ill when it's not a surprise.
Just when I think that the symptoms are known,
It adopts yet another disguise.
It might come anytime, any hour or day,
But always like a thief in the night;
Then it's one more day wasted avoiding the heat
and trying to shut out the light.

Break

I'm in a gleeful, giddy hurry.
There's too much innocent deviance
I still wish to accomplish,
and too few hours in an hour.
I feel my freedom looming like a gloomy, morning cloud.
It portends an end to the fun I intend—
The static electric pleasure of doing anything, many things
Well within the law, but just outside the rules.

Know Myself

To know thyself—that's a blessing or curse?
I know who I am, for both better and worse.
When my life circles back to a similar place
I find I repeat once-forgotten mistakes.
I've found character is immutable law
No matter how hard I try fixing a flaw.

Half the Width of a Hair (Between Death and Survivor's Guilt)

I have, in the decades that passed, failed to find
A way to accept or put out of my mind
Mistakes I made half of a lifetime ago
With those whom—if they'd lived—I would no longer know,
For I know that stood long between my fate and theirs
Was a wall made of down half the width of a hair.
I'm only alive because plans go awry,
Because Dave had the same sense of humor as I,
While they're not, because friends believed when they said “I'm okay,”
'Cause I knew I should call, but went on with my day,
Because they helped others instead of themselves,
Because years of professional help didn't help.

The only excuse that I can provide
To be damaged, distracted, and preoccupied
Is I've looked for so long and I've still yet to spy
The tiniest wisp of a good reason why.
Half a lifetime of searching, and still I don't see
Why it had to be them and had not to be me.

Trust But Verify?

It's not that I know folks' intentions
and choose to distrust them instead.
The tip of the tongue cannot tell you
What manner of state rules the head.
We're all writing poetry by flashlight,
But they won't have the lights when it's read—
and that goes for the upright and honest,
Merely misunderstood or misled.
What of those who would greet you like family,
and under their breath wish you dead?
They slither like snakes through the office,
But sleep unperturbed in their beds.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Why I Write, Part x+274: It Makes Everything Better

I'm not looking to get hitched, or even tie strings.
I've more passion for words than for almost all things.
There are so many things I don't want in my life
Save the minutes my mind's eye will live them, to write.
To love is just work. Dating's always a bore.
But romance of the mind lets my intellect soar:
No headfirst beginnings, nor heartbroken ends,
Just the sloppy wet kiss 'tween my pad and my pens.

We Can Drill Holes on Mars, but I Can't Even

The Hubble's great eye has got nothing on yours.
I stargaze, and daydream of giving you tours
Of binary stars, dancing eons as two;
Of black holes, with the power that draws me to you;
Of nebulae—new light, like you've given me;
Of every new world that the telescopes see;
Of taking a moonwalk to see the Earth rise,
Just us two hitchhiking on old Saturn V.
You're my sun—bringing light to my everyday tasks.
I would like to get close, but I can't even ask.

Aged to be Wild

Thought the matter departed, the mind's not erased.
I still ache to feel one ride's wind in my face.
I would bleed to lean into another turn banked.
I would burn to light fires, to blow through a whole tank.
Injury is no object. I'd endure any pain
To ride through at speed in between two clogged lanes.
For my footpegs I'm longing; for my handgrips I pine.
For them, I'd do all but wait any more time.

Intrusive Thoughts, Part 2: How to Bomb a Job Interview

My mirror adds ten pounds, but not ten years ahead.
In fact, at age ten, I thought now I'd be dead.
I'm not just too impatient to make five year plans;
(Do it)
I have found them torn up in reality's hands.
I'm not famous for striking out baseball stars.
I am not—and I won't be—the first man on Mars.
(C'mon.)
I'm no diplomat
(Do it.)
I don't spend my days authoring bestselling tomes,
Nor in teaching the youth to write things of their own.
(Do. It.)
I had each of these dreams, of these plans, hopes, and fears,
(What would happen?)
and each of them went bust in under five years.
(Everyone would notice you.)
So why speculate? I just started anew.
There's really no telling what else I could do.
(Everyone would know.)
Sure, there are a few things I might like to do,
But they're hardly worth thought, let alone telling you.
(You're just chicken.)
If there's one thing life's taught me, it's that time's current flows
Fast enough that a paddle won't change where you go.
As for me, I've always preferred wait-and-see.
(Bet you won't...)
There's no 4-D map drawn to show where I'll be,
But wherever I am, and wherever I go,
(Do it.)
I'm sure I'll survive. It's the one thing I know.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Gnawing

A hand of seven fingers
Claws into me like hunger,
And keeps going, deep.
It keeps me far from sleep,
The uneasy, hopeless doubt
That I will figure my life out,
and dread that everyone will see
That I'm not who I should be
That I'm not what I should be.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Scouting for Optimists

Murphy's law comes down the hardest
On unwitting optimists
Who, unknowing, expect the best
While doom stalks them in the mists.
So be well prepared to handle
Being wrong before you act.
Bright, sunny lies can't hold a candle
To dark, unexpected facts.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

On A Chance Meeting of Someone I Didn't Like, 2018

I realized, with a start, how quickly I'd dismissed
The thing that's another man's reason to exist.
Why react with antipathy, bitter contempt?
It would be so much better to make an attempt
To find out how a thing that means nothing to me
Could amount to another's whole reason to be.
Though our goals are entirely different, I do
Have passions I'd sacrifice too much for, too.