I should be ashamed to post these pathetic attempts at poetry. I’m not actually trying to write poetry and I don’t know why I arrange the words on the paper in a way that looks like poetry when it so clearly is just prose.
I think I should take it all down. But I won’t. Writing to you, in whatever shitty way I can, is cathartic for me. And maybe will serve as proof of my unwavering devotion to you. Or maybe just as proof of my descent into madness,
I am surely going mad.
I’ve been reading Bukowski again and now I feel like a complete and utter failure. So basic. I should just go read some ‘chick lit’ and be done with it. Do they still call it that? That’s what we called it back in my day. Turns out, these ‘not poems’ of mine probably wouldn’t even make it as ‘chick lit.’
But I’m not actually trying to write poetry, you see. I’m really not. I don’t know why I’m arranging the lines in clips. I really don’t. Maybe I feel like I’m living in clip right now.
Living in Clip is the name of an Ani DiFranco album that gave me life in my 20’s. Fuck, that album was so badass.
I don’t know what the point of this is. I’m feeling super ashamed of myself for writing all this mediocre crap to you when you are so much more than mediocre and you don’t deserve these dime store words. You need whole city blocks of designer words. But I don’t have them because I’m really just a discount rack at a dime store. I tried to dust myself off for you when you came around. I decorated my shelves with all the seasonal candles from all the seasons past and I was hoping you wouldn’t notice they were out of date; that maybe the scent of them would override their dented and chipped bodies.
I am dented and chipped and my words only scratch the surface of my heart and I’m scared of the water out there in the middle of the ocean so I just stay right here on this shore, searching for you. I should jump in and start swimming already but I’m afraid I’ll get lost and when you come back, I’ll be out in the middle of the ocean and you’ll think I’ve left.
Oh, what the fuck am I saying? I don’t even know.
Making love in the sun, in the morning sun
in a hotel room
above the alley
where poor men poke for bottles;
making love in the sun
making love by a carpet redder than our blood,
making love while the boys sell headlines
making love by a photograph of Paris
and an open pack of Chesterfields,
making love while other men- poor folks-
That moment- to this. . .
may be years in the way they measure,
but it’s only one sentence back in my mind-
there are so many days
when living stops and pulls up and sits
and waits like a train on the rails.
I pass the hotel at 8
and at 5; there are cats in the alleys
and bottles and bums,
and I look up at the window and think,
I no longer know where you are,
and I walk on and wonder where
the living goes
when it stops.