bumbling be

Five years ago …
ten years from now …
where was,
or will, I be

Will I be?

Asked again and again
what did I want to be

If only I could figure out
what that me was supposed to be that wanted to be
or even just be

Free?

But from what
or of what
dare I say,
I know not

(D. James)

memento mori

I catch a toe
on the bedside table

For a moment
the pain brings a
rush

Then a loud burst
of sound

This is what it is to feel
like a fragile old goat

In the end
no matter how
crafty you are
or how many books
you read

You’re still just a mess
of nerves and fleshy parts
constantly being reminded
what it means to be human

(D. James)

One for the Old Guy

for Mike Blake

Standing in the supermarket
when a pop song
from the mid-eighties
plays over the aisle of canned goods

Memories of an old friend –
long gone – wash over me

Suddenly I find myself
holding back the tears
like the song says

Wondering, where did the years go

Standing there thinking,

“Don’t fucking cry now,
ya pussy”

Just keep holding on

(D. James)

The real battle

In another country
we swept north
like the hand of god

In Basra we did
door-to-doors

Killed men
at close range
in Baghdad

Left a leg
and most of
one hand
back in Falluja

Now at home
no one seems
to know
how to put us
back together again

All-American,
treated like
Half a person

Did right
by our country
In the end
left with the nagging
question:

Will it do
right by us?

(D. James)

News

I am wondering
what this homeless man
is reading in the newspaper
Is he trying to keep up
with the insanity of this world
or is he finding reason
through his own insanity?
Or is he simply
reading the newspaper
trying to remember
how it was when
the world was normal
and strangely
missing
the pain?

EL SEBBO

If only it were a movie

And this is not a movie
I remind myself

These memories carried around
in my head

And this is not a movie
these days upon days
night after night

These boredoms
these anxieties
these feelings of fear

But this is not a movie
I keep telling myself
this is my life

Yet I don’t know what
to do with it

This is my life
and this is not a movie

I know
because if it were
who the fuck
would sit through it?

(D. James)