Why is it always 11:00 when I stare at this computer
hoping to grab some spark, some remnant, some nugget of something
worth the weight for me to say it?
This is a less caffeinated run at it, a slow down, and scramble the eggs,
drink from the carton, and lower the draw bridge, attendant, I got to live!
Poet to poem…let’s sit down and talk.
Can we go for a walk, look at the sunset?
Rest your tired head. Old Poem, your wrinkly lines
typewritten, less scribbled.
You no longer are panicked, choked word for word out on transit lines.
You seem subdued, less ready to start shit, like you used to.
Are your fighting days over? Have you retired your old golden gloves?
Skip this track. I have heard it before.
So I hear one more, and it lessens the grip, poetry back flip, acid trip, slowly sickening.
Each penalty kick, we wield the axe, a bloody fist, a cake is a birthday celebration away.
And I fall down dead, and give it away, give it away, give it away now,a red hot chili, half steppin’
To the sound of the Pavement, Pavement, Malkmus’ glassy laugh, one last dance with acne Mary, Trapper Keeper, and Camaro, golden hour scary, we fight tooth and nail over canary Jane,
And I sit, down.
And I continue, I am tired, legs broken, the haul of each last cigarette, and train token, toking and sipping on potions, has trailed away long ago, set sail on some lonely ocean.
And there is me, tired old me,
Writing in an infinity box, rewinding the clocks back, to 8-tracks and laugh tracks.
I am so much more than that.
Do better poet, I whisper, the poem, wrinkle in time, got 9 lives like a kitten.
One down, still living, I can grow grass in the backyard baby! COVID 1980.
Got ducks on, and a pinball machine, got a leaky can of grease and I am 18 and life to gooooo.
Oh, baby you my Skid Row, and I am your Axl Rose. Oh, sing me a song, Mr. Don McLean
American Pie, Vincent Van Gogh, meet Devo. Wear the mask baby Jane.
We all have to wear the mask.
When we pump gas, in the 87 Cadillac, wear a mask
When you dance to the beat, baby cause DMC does that, wear a mask.
When you listen to Reagan speech, wear a mask.
And when you drink Ecto Cooler, social distance that.
When you Bustin’ ghosts, Karate Kid, wear a mask.
And when you think You’re alone now, oh you’re not, Oh well Orwell,
He told us didn’t he, Tiffany?
We sit in the zoom classroom, watch the Challenger explode.
Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His new book is Train of Thought.