Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Way We Lived

I was never good with women.

My twenties were flowing with them
but I had no use for them then,
or barely any, besides the basic
exercises and interactions.

On rare occasions,
usually in the fall,
I would want a real girlfriend
but I would have no idea what
that meant, really
or what was required.
Effort would be wasted
in futile attempts that rarely
amounted to more than saying hi
or waving. I would leave poems
and drawings for anon girls
in coffee shops,
then leave,
not to return for months
due to both poverty
and the fact that the cave
was always
hard to escape from.
-

Who was I then?
I was hungry.
I was poor.
I was alone.
I was manic and crazed.
I was desperate.
I was alive with creativity.
I was a magnet
hiding from metals.
-

I rarely remember eating.
For years I think I barely ate.
I was heroine skinny
but it was all
cigarettes,
whisky,
and minor drugs,
mostly I was burning
from thought
consumed with thinking.
Undisciplined mind
Uncontrolled abilities
leaking all over the ground,
the cheap carpet,
the floor furnace,
the smoke colored walls,
the paintings hanging from every space possible.
I was living on pure
liquid youth.
-

I painted the closet doors
took them off and hung them on the walls.
I painted cabinets and sheets of hard board.
Those were hung on the walls too.
The house was all open cabinets and closets
and a wild riot hanging from the walls.
I ran out of detachable surfaces
and starting painting what was left of the walls.
It was a museum
made by everyone living there
painted by me
but made alive by the crowd
coming in and out,
saying my name,
talking about me, only feet away,
betting on when I would die.
-

They all lost:
I am still alive, and
grounded by memories, imbued
with the solid craftsmanship
of unhindered youth.
-

The way we lived
baffled those around us.
“How do you keep it up?”
“When do you study?”
We studied every night
We were desperately studying
, searching, for ways to keep going,
ways that made living better
than not;
Hoping, the next book, hit, girl, party,
would somehow balance it all out
so I could keep a job
so I could stop crying
when a girlfriend would hug me
so I could stop thinking
so I could stop burning
so I could just stop
and relax
and feel normal.
The way we lived was more like survival
than the careful experimentation of our peers.
They were baffled and entranced by us.
We were burning bright
right before their eyes
and they didn’t know any better than to clap.

2 comments:

Stacy said...

we ate as if we were used to being alone
the sound of constant silence
blasting us as we stared into the nothingness of empty closets with no doors
i remember it all too well

Technomonk said...

I dug that - went with the flow really well. Thanks.