Author Archive

BORN WINNER, SELF-MADE LOSER

September 25, 2008

There was a time when I thought

I might have done something by now;

But that was long ago, and over the intervening

Decades I have shifted from prodigy to late-bloomer

To non-bloomer; I have passed my peak without having peaked

Or even begun the ascent, and unless there is something inherently

Salutary to the energy I expend in frustrating myself then

My sacrifices have all been in vain.

IMPROVIDENCE

September 25, 2008

The other lives I might have led

All now might as well be

Dead. Survived by no one.

Barren, without issue of any sort:

This withered bud, failed

In art and love. With no time left

To change my course. But time enough

For infinite remorse.

LIFELONG LEAN PERIOD

September 19, 2008

I have been awake since the dawn of noon,

And I have nothing to show for the time that

Was mine. To begin with I never began.

I sat down at the table with vaguely creditable intentions

But they were soon replaced by mere struggle

To remain awake, and with all the energy I could muster

I relocated to the sofa, where – several drowsified hours later –

I begin to chastise myself again.

DUST FALLS REGARDLESS

September 19, 2008

I once took solace in comparing myself to other

Malingerers. Until it became clear that my lack

Of progress eclipsed even the most laggardly

Among them, and that there remained no sign,

At this precarious hour, of the most rudimentary

Beginning. At which point it also became clear

That I cannot compare myself to anyone

Who has done anything.

THAT TIME OF DAY

September 19, 2008
A destructive overawareness of time
Knives through the hot empty spaces
Of an afternoon. A sense of urgency vaporizing
Into torpor. Even the traffic sounds tired.
Do something, I tell myself.
What? The same thing I’ve been doing
Every day for years on end
With varying degrees of failure.

INURED TO OTIOSITY

September 17, 2008


I am told, often enough, that it is not too late

To do something with my life.

But, unfortunately, the fact that I am not dead yet

Fails to inspire much hope or motivation

For a productive future.  And on the evidence of my past

It is clear that there will be no belated burst of activity.

I have been talking about last hurrahs for a long time

Without any sign of an initial hurrah.

LXI

September 16, 2008

In darkness slowly awakening


To what I have not always known:

That it is too late in the day or the lifetime


To change course or return –  with


Any stainless sense of purpose –  to the dream.


The notion that I might ever accomplish anything


Remains confined to dusty imagination


And when I close my eyes, it is still too bright.

ACCOMPLISHMENT

September 11, 2008

It would be a relief if I could resign myself

To unproductivity and simply exist

Unburdened by this tiresome need to produce

That has been the cause of so much unpleasantness.

It’s not as if I do anything with my time

And as for most of the people who do accomplish

Anything: one rather wishes they hadn’t bothered either.

Accomplishment, I suspect, is overrated.

CREATION

September 11, 2008

I have been sitting here

Gritting my teeth in the hot light of day

For what seems a long time

But probably isn’t.

I cannot do what I want to do

And I cannot do anything else.

A lamentable waste, but the absence of this

Emptiness would create an immense yawning void in my life.

DAYS

September 11, 2008

Mornings are spent preparing for activity.

Nights are spent recovering from inactivity.

Why torment myself over succumbing

To an inertia so inevitable that I could set my clock

By the onslaught of it? Why not just accept it?

To do otherwise is only an exercise

In frustration: a phrase that could easily apply

To my entire life.