Archive for the ‘Inertia Variations’ Category

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.

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A LONG HARD LAZY APPRENTICESHIP OF DOING NOTHING

September 25, 2008

You would think by now that people would know better

Than to ask me what I have been doing with my time.

And you would think by now that I would have come up

With an answer that would silence them. But I still stumble,

Crumble and quail when faced with this thankless enquiry.

I suppose I could tell them the truth: that after all the brooding,

Abstraction and evasion, there just isn’t much time left

To do the work, or to tell the truth.

CHAIR, SOFA AND BED

September 25, 2008

Between these three points of love

And sloth ( Mostly the latter ),

I flounder. Resting, without laurels,

Restlessly. Pausing between pauses

To inventory this harvest of regret;

To consider, from every angle of unease,

This permanent rut…to forever name remainless,

Staring at a curtain.

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.

LX

September 17, 2008

I am a great believer in half measures

Or no measures at all. And I am a great champion

Of dishonest suffering, false modesty and vain inhibitions.

When the problem, painful to admit, is pure

Laziness: punishing myself for doing nothing

By doing nothing. I am often informed that I have nobody

To blame but myself as if any comfort might be derived

From this cruelly stated fact.

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.