Saturday, March 24, 2012


Rare is the person
who utilizes it;
and even rarer
is the person
who profits by it.
we bludgeon it,
piss on it,
strangle it,
avoid it,
plunder it,
tear it, rip it,
shit on it,
spit on it,
sit on it,
eat it
when full or
for no good reason
at all.
We bruise it,
break it,
bloody it,
staining ourselves
and the cunt of the earth
that bore us.

At first, we thought
it was just a "filling in;"
a way of getting
from place to place
with something, anything,
to do. We humans need
filler to dam up
the madness
of emptiness
unlike the snails
and the slugs,
the whales and the bugs,
the flowers stretching
and trees widening
without knowing why.

Time was a different enemy then--
then it was something to be defeated--
until I ate, or got laid, or drunk, or high,
or something that changed who I was
or thought I was--
until something happened
that coated the misery
or the fear
or the monotony.
It was there
before the food was in front of me,
while the connection showed up,
before the picture show started,
or a job appeared.
I was bold then,
I thought I could fuck with it,
bend it,
meld it,
twist it,
tame it,
make it
do my bidding.
I was so smart,
such a rogue.
The drink helped,
the drugs helped,
the women,
young and old
helped. The writing helped
most of all. It gave me
hope and lessened
the terror. What they
gave me was the ability
to mug a minute or two;
to find the magic
in the flesh of a poem,
in a wet bottle
of beer or the depths
of a shot glass;
the surge of dope
inside your stomach
and heated shoulders and neck
licking the memories clean.
Those pockets of miracles
when a woman knows
your stupidities
and laughs at them, when her ankles lock
and brings you into the stretch
and you both ride
as if on fire allowing everything else
to burn.
I didn't realize then
how rare feeling alive
while not being part of this world was
and how patient time is;
how it held
all the cards; how that kind of obedience
can cost you days and weeks and months
and years. How one day
you look
and look
again, sucking in your tongue,
nodding your head, a bit bewildered, looking
for the lost years,
sometimes decades,
and if you're not careful
you think you can make
those decades up
killing more time.

But I can't kick:
I was a poor bet
to make it
much past forty,
growing up how I did,
with the diseases I have,
and being a heat seeking missile
of pleasure and self-destruction,
but I did.
I would boast about it--
as if I had something to do with it--
but not now;
now I know I was just an animal
either doing or being done.

The end for me will come sooner
rather than later
while I still look
for those minutes, those pockets.
Most of my time is still
mind numbing, frustrating,
even painful, yet I'm still lucky:
the music still plays
and the words still dance
now across a screen
instead of paper. They are tigers playing
with each other.
And me? I'm no heavyweight champ,
but I'm a good club fighter:
I'lI never lie down,
and more often than not,
no matter who the fuck I'm fighting,
go the distance and maybe,
just maybe, win;
and maybe win
more often than lose,
when the scorecards get tallied
after the last bell sounds.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2012

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