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I’m not yet the person
I need to be
To have a good partner, because
I’m not yet the person
I need to be
To be a good partner.
John Prine died today. He was my first concert. He wrote every song I love that I don’t remember who wrote. He wrote this poem, too, but he wrote it through me. I’ll miss him. One day I’d like to see him again.
I had a feeling I could be someone.
You’ll only feel by listening
to the same song,
but none better than the downtown boy
with hair like Dylan
accepted to Yale when I was
but dropped out
and now plays to a Farmers’ market audience–
an empty picnic blanket and me.
At 24 years old,
he looks more like twelve
and sings folk like a wizened bluesman.
Will he go anywhere
or stay in Fairfax forever,
wearing the same uncool shoes
as the classmate I bullied in 4th grade.
If America’s misfits come to San Francisco
and SF’s go to Oakland,
where do Oakland’s go?
We’re only fifteen miles north of The City,
but you can believe in the stars having a plan for you
and we’ll still believe in you.
If you move too quick,
you hit the speed of loneliness
like a too-fast car,
breaking the sound barrier,
collapsing into yourself,
We all feel that way.
Some of us become.
We all pass away.
“Thwack!” goes my head, pummeling the van door.
See bright spots of light. Can’t balance no more.
Closed out my phone call, “I love you. Uh, bye.”
Stumbled to my knees, my head hanging high.
Called my chum Em’ly, the reason I’m here
Coordinated as if drunk on beer.
“I’ll call you in ten,” she said and hung up,
so I wondered whether I was wrung up.
Am I concussed? I had seen stars. And my
neck mashed. From whacking it hard and uh, high.
Big ol’ thwackin’! A painful a-whackin’!
I pray the world fades not to, uh, black, and
but if it does, at least I’d’ve learned… Not
much of anything. An accident turned
me into a grave. A silly way to
die. In future, I’ll be A-More-Aware-of-Surroundings Guy.
The boat I would get, if I wanted a boat, would be everything that I am not.
Carefree and easy and flexing completely, withstand wind and rain and hot,
Skating along atop cresting blue waves, easing through shifting tides…
The boat I would get, if I wanted a boat, would not take me for a ride,
but summon me near, caring not if I come, chuckling and holding the ropes.
The boat I would get, if I wanted a boat, would dash dreams in favor of hopes.
“You’ll never go far with that kind of boat”
But I’m already too far, too fast.
The boat I would get, if I wanted a boat, would be one that my soul cries would last.
Days turn to weeks turn to months turn to years,
Then one day my boat turns on me
And I’d be its ears.
And it be my eyes.
Together, we’d share a mouth.
We’d turn, heading down, past the capes with a frown
To the warmest of waters due south,
Under the bridges of eyes and sand ridges, I’d sweat hard, shoveling coal
And my boat would tell me, “You’re working too hard. Where are we trying to go?”
I’d poke my head up, consumed in the clouds, and not help but utter an, “oh.”
Why did you buy two pizza pies?
You’re only one man, and you have thighs
That will grow fatter
If you eat all that batter.
“They were deep dish,
Which makes me its bitch
When combined with the heaven
Of ‘second pie costs $7.'”
Well, that explains
Your stretched-tummy pains.
Now go and count sheep
You should be asleep.
“I would be! I would!
But it’s hard to be good.
After crunching all week,
I feel so… uh, weak.”
That I can see!
It’s going to be
A much-needed weekend
Spent with a friend.
When people ask “How are you feeling?”, I wish they wanted this sort of answer:
I have this…
Deep, rich, weeping.
Eyes tight, throat… Tingling down my back and a dry mouth.
I shiver though I don’t move.
A cold breeze passes through my head.
A cold breath, a dry mouth, a buzz across the back; a tight lower back, furrowed brow.
Wide, blubbery second chin. Dry mouth, fast breath.
Stab right shoulder, under scapula.
I’ll test this sometime: dropping in and describing my felt sensations in real time.
I’ll test it 6 times in different contexts (because I’ll only get comfortable after the first few experiments).
Xfinity, you tease
In the unlikeliest of places
By stoking my hopes with the promise of bars
Then dashing them all with a “cannot connect!”
I must say I’d rather
Have no WiFi at all—
Be forced ‘pon my phone’s hotspot
Than hear your wispy false claims.
But sometimes, my dear,
You appease this old soul—
Like this ‘forenoon, when I video called
My boss from the street.
Though your robustness did waver
So we switched to “just audio,”
You did remain connected! Aye, you stood strong throughout,
Leaving boss none the wiser
That I’m a van-confined hobo.
Why do you toy so, dear Xfinity,
With me, of all people—loyal lover of your service
As I try to log in
With my dad’s friend’s account?
Tiny desire for identity
In a cookie-cutter world.
But this one’s “so you,”
Just like thousands
Have thought before.
Frightens the close-minded…
And we’re all close-minded.
So we stick to
The same safe deviance
As everyone else.
But it brings you joy.
What more do you seek?
What more is there?
It’s only two dollars.
Just buy it already.