Thursday, September 12, 2013


The Betty Poems

I can't scratch;
a constant ache
I can't rub;
a certified check
I can't cash.
You're an ATM
full of promise
and I've forgotten
my password;
you're a money machine
that's down
or not down
but in an undisclosed
You hold the keys
to the handcuffs
around my soul
but have eaten them.

It's maddening.

But I'm a funny addict:
I've shot sex
for such a long time
I can only get off
when love is mainlined
as well. And it better be
pretty much pure.
And so,
I'd rather deny myself
some half-ass high
than be strung-out
on half-ass hope--never more stupid
than when it's a finger-tip away.

I give you fair warning:
if you write
and I don't answer;
if you call
and I don't pick-up
it is not because
I don't want to;
it is not that I'm trying
to test or be hurtful--
(I can be vicious, I know)
--to you; it just means
I'm busy
I'm licking my wounds
like any animal would;
I'm filling holes;
it means I'm playing
with another madness,
I'm reading,
I'm crying, I'm laughing
as the sirens wail;
I'm eating green
bologna, liverwurst, or a bloody
or peeling an orange; I'm trying
to make it,
just make it
for a little longer.
It means that the evidence
I vigilantly gathered
overwhelms me; it means
I'm shaking my head
in disbelief;
I'm hanging on by a spider's net,
by my own flimsy reason;
it means I'm slitting
the navel
of my dream;
it doesn't mean I love you
or not; or hate you,
or not,
but accept you
I can't
All I can do
is talk about it
to strangers
or trees,
write about it and sing
songs about it
until it's dispelled,
displaced, dissipated,
broken-down and thinned
so that it flows
between my bodies plaque
gummed-up with history.

It matters little
to me the cost--
I'd rather have had it
than not
and paid
what it's worth.
And if it's lost
it's only because
it was most precious;
it's the only thing
we usually
and that's good,

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2013

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