“waste of paint”
i have a friend, he’s mostly made of pain. he wakes up, drives to work,
and then straight back home again. he once cut one of my nightmares out of paper.
i thought it was beautiful, i put it on a record cover.
and i tried to tell him he had a sense of color and composition so magnificent.
and he said “thank you, please but your flattery is truly not becoming me.
your eyes are poor. you are blind. you see, no beauty could have come from me.
i am a waste of breath, of sp-ce, of time.”
i knew a woman, she was dignified and true. her love for her man was one of her many virtues.
until one day, she found out that he had lied and she decided the rest of her life,
from that point on would be a lie. but she was grateful for everything that had happened.
and she was anxious for all that would come next. but then she wept.
what did you expect? in that big, old house with the cars she kept.
“oh!” and “such is life,” she often said. with one day leading to the next,
you get a little closer to your death, which was fine with her.
she never got upset and with all the days she may have left,
she would never clean another mess or fold his shirts or look her best.
she was free to waste away alone.
last night, my brother he got drunk and drove. and this cop pulled him off to the side of the road.
and he said, “officer! officer! you have got the wrong man.
no, no, i’m a student of medicine, the son of a banker, you don’t understand!”
the cop said, “no one got hurt, you should be thankful. and your carelessness,
it is something awful. and no, i can’t just let you go. and though your father’s name is known,
your decisions now are yours alone. you’re nothing but a stepping stone
on a path to debt, to loss, to shame.”
the last few months i have been living with this couple.
yeah, you know, the kind who buy everything in doubles. they fit together, like a puzzle.
and i love their love and i am thankful that someone actually
receives the prize that was promised by all those fairy tales that drugged us.
and they still do me. i’m sick, lonely, no laurel tree, just green envy.
will my number come up eventually? like love is some kind of lottery,
where you can scratch and see what is underneath. it’s “sorry”,
just one cherry, “play again.” get lucky.
so i have been hanging out down by the train’s depot. no, i don’t ride.
i just sit and watch the people there. and they remind me of wind up cars in motion.
the way they spin and turn and jockey for positions.
and i want to scream out that it all is nonsense.
all your lives one track, can’t you see it’s pointless?
but then, my knees give under me. my head feels weak and
suddenly it is clear to see that it is not them but me, who has lost my self-ident-ty.
as i hide behind these books i read, while scribbling my poetry,
like art could save a wretch like me, with some ideal ideology that no one can hope to achieve.
and i am never real; it is just a sketch of me.
and everything i made is trite and cheap and a waste of paint, of tape, of time.
so now i park my car down my the cathedral, where floodlights point up at the steeples.
choir practice was filling up with people. i hear the sound escaping as an echo.
sloping off the ceiling at an angle. when voices blend they sound like angels.
i hope there is some room still in the middle.
but when i lift my voice up now to reach them. the range is too high, way up in heaven.
so i hold my tongue, forget the song, tie my shoe and start walking off.
and try to just keep moving on, with my broken heart and my absent god
and i have no faith but it is all i want, to be loved and believe in my soul, in my soul…