Sunday, November 3, 2013


last night
for a couple of minutes.
She did what she did:
told a few stories,
made me laugh, bought me
a coffee
and time.
I think I returned
the favor.
It wasn't her tits
or ass or cunt--as enticing
as they are
--that did the saving.
It was a sort of kindness
of one kind or another
that made me notice
a change in temperature.

For as long
as memory provides me,
I've desired, fervently
hoped for, saving
from the meanness
that surrounded me:
First, of course,
from my parents,
stupid and cruel
progenitors, forming
a tag-team of imbecility;
they, then, became
the world outside, worse
sometimes, but not better;
and finally myself
and my own special demons.
Yet all manner of things helped:
the word, the poem, food,
dope or dope
sickness, driving,
a book, a wife,
a lover--for a minute
or a mile--music,
whiskey, a prizefight
that I wasn't part of...
I'd look up
and not know
where I was
or where the misery

All of us
want saviors
and all of us want to be saved.
All of us. All the time.
Just look at the personal sections
or faces looking into faces looking into
cellphones or movies that are all about us
or art as entertainment or food preparation as gods
and ambrosia and nectar and sex.
We project, rationalize, subvert, reverse, and transverse
across our limited consciousness, but the mines
have been dug deep. They defy
the noses of rescue dogs.
We would like to believe
we're wiser
after defeats,
more mature
after battles--
and perhaps we are
--but the wheel
continues to turn
within us
and without us.
It's hard enough
knowing who we are
let alone the person next to you
in bed
or on the subway platform
behind you.

Jesus saves--
of course he does.
The question is:
at which bank?

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2013

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