Monday, September 23, 2013



What a strange straitjacket ageing is
when you’re constrained by your own freedom
to do whatever you want. And forever young
is an attitude you wear like a chip on your shoulder
when the hour that bullies you knocks your teeth out,
and your denatured enemies begin to gather around you
like a wolfpack stalking a sick elk with soft horns
it wields like a candelabra of dozy trees in deep snow.

But I remember my step grandfather at a sawhorse
cutting more wood with a Swede saw at eighty-three
than I could when I was fit and cocky as a lifeboat
in my inflatable twenties. Let him be an example
unto me at sixty-five of the way I should conduct myself
as a senior citizen. So I say in my best Punkinese
to the motherfucker that’s looking at me like an easy kill,
come try your brief, wretched life against my will to live.

There’s a reason I got to be an old dog that’s about
to revolutionize your universe by gutting you
on the shiv of the moon the night’s just slipped
up my sleeve on the q.t. in passing like a fang
I’ve never waxed nostalgic about unless it was stuck
like a last crescent through a petty enemy’s pygmy heart.

Might not sound like it, but I’ve had enough of violence
with the likes of you to last me for the next
ten thousand lifetimes and like my friend Charles Fischer said
to his daughter at ninety-one, don’t try
to understand an asshole, don’t argue with an asshole,
just walk away and leave him for dead, wiping
the blood off your blade on your sleeve like the hour hand
of an alarm clock that just added injury to your insult
as the ambulance rushes you off to emergency
like a poppy in a death cult out of your league,
though I added that last part just to keep you intrigued.

Charles was a happier man than I am. He grew old
more gracefully than I can, and truth to tell, want to
when I’m confronted with a nasty little prick like you
trying to dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee
in a dragon’s mouth that’s still less of an urn
than a furnace that’s going to burn your feelers off
like a grey power surge through the filaments of your lightbulb
I’m going to shatter and scatter like the down
of your fledgling ashes on a Buddha that hasn’t brought me
to enlightenment yet. Or maybe has and I just
conveniently forget whenever the occasion calls for it.


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