Saturday, December 31, 2011


These sixty four years
that marched unflinchingly
around and through me
were often enough times
cruel and mindless,
but often beautiful
(lovely, even),
have settled easily
like a cat or a dog
resting at my feet.
The jails and institutions,
nuthouses and hospitals
as bad as they were,
had their moments
of solace, sometimes reprieve
from the madness
that scorched the inside
of my skin.
Even the worst of times
have gone too quickly,
for each defeat
showed victory
no matter how dim,
or of no lasting
Each love was better
than no love;
every hate
had power,
and a sublime
and each pleasure
no matter how destructive
gave the pure dream
language, and a gambler's

I have liked most of you better
than I let on,
and loved some better
than they thought I should;
the pirate sees treasure
at a ship's mast
before the deck
is boarded or crossed.

Tonight, at midnight,
while hundreds of thousands,
asshole to elbow,
wait to celebrate
in Times Square,
I'll have the covers pulled
up to my neck.
I'll know it's over
when I hear
car horns,
as my fellow humans
divide themselves
from themselves.
I've never understood much
of their joy or hope or faith,
but this far
I've made it; more
I can't say.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2011

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