I have written four hundred times,
“maybe today will be the day”
on a blackboard
like I am trying to prove
that things might change.

I have sung four hundred psalms
to the god of my choosing.
A broomstick in a closet
where I sit on Sunday Mass.

I have walked four hundred miles,
I will walk
four hundred miles again
for smokes.

I have sung four hundred choruses
with four hundred key changes.
It’s one long fucking song.

I have laid four hundred women
all down in a bed of roses
and woke up four hundred times,
soggy and sunk.

I have said
four hundred Hail Mary’s
to the god of my choosing.
A broomstick in a closet
where I sit for Sunday Mass.

I have been beaten and bloodied
four hundred times
and have had four hundred nosebleeds,
four hundred of them self sustained
from overzealous picking.

I have shouted at a cloud
four hundred times
hoping that the crowd will move on
and the world will stop spinning.

I have drunk
four hundred ounces
of 40 ounces, and am waiting
for my freedom.
That’s 16,000 ounces of alcohol,
still waiting for my freedom.

I have written
four hundred Jagged Thoughts
to one hundred and seventy three
thousand people
who have come back to see me
over four hundred thousand times.
I have never met any of them.

I have tried so hard
for many years.
Four hundred days at least
for sure.
Putting in
four hundred minutes
of each day,
turning two days in change
into four hundred pages.

I have tried to be less acrid,
acid dancing on your tongue.

I have opened four hundred doors
and slammed them closed
four hundred times.
I have died in
four hundred dreams
but still wake up
wanting more.

I have written
on the basement walls,
waiting for a world to change.
It did. Hooray for me.
It changed,
and I did not go along with it.

I have taken
four hundred slugs,
four hundred arrows,
four hundred shots,
four hundred slices,
four hundred fists,
four hundred nut taps,

and two for flinching.

Yet, I still fucking stand.
And I can take
four hundred more.

And to the Oddball readership I thank you.
Thank you for your ear,
four hundred times.

 

Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His third book, Train of Thought 2: Almost Home is available now at the Oddball Book Store.