Monday, January 16, 2017

Dopamine Fix

Dopamine Fix

No matter how much I scroll,
Facebook will not fill the hole
though dopamine
and oxytocin offer an illusion
of sustenance for my soul.

But the pre-verbal
losses and deficits
play on a loop
that never quits.

This is not a blame game
as Tweedy’s Happiness suggests,
but merely a statement of fact, at best
cold and hard like steel.
No warmth here
nor when I hear
the sound of my name on your lips.

You did the best you could
and I never would
accuse you, though I have
and will.

For now I return
to my silicon substitute
and wish for connection
beyond abstraction.

Slender Alotment

Slender Allotment

In the hallways of downtowns,
behind the drowning
drone of computers whirring,
beneath the chafing stiffness
of crisp clean shirts,
below the surface
of the freshly showered skin,
beat the hearts
of men and women,
blood running thin,
the rhythm of time
slowly drifting by;
amid reams of paper and reports,
coffee-stained and rearranged
daily output and input streams
of information regarding
wickets and widgets
or dreams coldly reduced
to predictions of profit and loss-
this is where our lives occur,
this is where we pass the time,
our shallow slender
allotment of eternity.

Friday, January 13, 2017

This Poem Is A Lie

This poem is a lie;
nothing about it rings true,
neither meter nor rhyme.

I walked a mile in my own shoes
today. Am I free now to judge
this poet as a bastard?
There. I said it.
Someone had to.

Standing on the corner
of Wabash and Randolph,
she shouts,
Is anyone listening?!
No one is, of course, until
she shouts.
Now they are
warily eying her
every move,
moving past quickly.

Our poet friend
drops a coin into her cup,
lifts his eyes to meet hers
as if his gaze were enough
to fix her. She scowls and mouths
God bless you.
He thinks, Fuck you!
then chastises himself
for his whiteness,
her blackness,
his privilege,
her impoverishment,
his relative sanity,
her relative madness.

Relative to what,
one might ask.

Relative to one another?
Absurd. In what way do they relate?

Relative to an accepted norm?
Again. What is normal?

Relative to oneself?
That, my friend,
may be true.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Loss of Narrative

I have no mythology
to carry me
through the day.

The Lord Jesus Christ
is not my savior.
And neither
am I.

There are no epiphanies
in my past
that I can remember;
I can’t remember,

My body tracks
the quickening slowness of time:
soft belly, receding hairline.

And the scars left behind
mark old battles –
the flattened last knuckle
of my right hand,
a lost boxing match with my desk.

But my mind failingly grasps at all
but the tastes and smells,
the most vivid and primitive senses –
the taste of my grandmother’s coffee bread,
the smell of Ivory soap and cold water
at the sink behind her woodshed.

Even those have faded to facsimiles of memories –
I remember the remembering and not the thing

Images are a thing of the past,
faded snapshots at best.
Even the present disappears into a fog.

Perhaps it is the drugs I use to stay afloat,
perhaps it is the depression and anxiety they treat,
perhaps it is merely a product of age and genetics…

Whatever the reason,
I long for a season
of memory.