Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Men feel it before,
and more acutely,
then women,
I think.
Athletes male
or female,
feel it first, followed
by artists
& skilled
laborers (though
I'm not sure
about the artists
& skilled laborers part).
It happens
before you're aware
of it happening:
you know what you want to do,
you can see it,
but you just can't do it,
you see an opening
but can't take it;
you see a punch coming
but can't duck it
or slip it.
There's a kind of rust
on your reflex; your body
is a beat behind
the rhythm section.

The first time (or two,
or three) it happens
you'll reject it; you'll resort
to bullshitting yourself
& believe it,
(but not really),
you'll say:
just one of those days,
stop fucking around,
get more rest,
go on a diet,
get into the weight room,
shut-off distractions--
friends, family, hangers-on,
--stop chasing
skirts, concentrate--
& that might work...
for a bit.
But where once your youth was
has now looked
& found
greener pastures.

I'm well passed
my prime; I make
what I make
by skill & wits,
a reluctant intelligence,
a stubborn neurosis,
& guts, all enfolding me,
embalming me into
a state of grace.
Like today:
I saw these young beauties
walk by. I knew what I wanted
to do
to each
& every
one of them,
but cannot do a thing. How unfortunate
for all of us.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2014

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