Sunday, December 11, 2005

TRYING TO BE A POEM ( I have been...)


I forget how old I was
When I was a boy
Because days felt like years.
Time can be spastic that way.
However,
I shot through my teens
Like a roman candle,
Barely had time to hold my breath.
A friend once told me that
I reminded him of Dean Moriarty from 'On the Road',
Although considerably more venomous.
It seemed like a compliment.
Then came the roaring (drunk) twenties.
It was said that Brendan Behan had
a thirst so great it would cast a shadow,
An evocative challenge that I foolishly met.
I torched a lot of bridges,
Remarkably few were burned.
Somehow I continue to age.
By the time Mozart was my age
He'd been dead for two years.
None of us come through unscathed
And sometimes scar tissue forces a malignant smile.
I know for a fact that I carry numerous
Wounds from psychic shrapnel,
More often than not due to my own wilful detonation.
It bothers me just enough.
There have always been days when I felt
Like a matador-
Taunting and daring my bad habits
To charge at me,
Only to avoid last minute disaster with a late flourish and spin.
I've worn thousands of masks to get here
And I think I have one or two left
To get me across the finish line.

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