July 28, 2012

poem 253 of a poem a day for 2012



scomposto pagliacci

if I could just make you laugh
I’ll get another day
to be alive 
to try and try
as I always try
not to be defined
my instincts say
material longing doesn’t last
as long as joy does
in the soul
so I gather my madness instead
and gutter-fill the rainbows
sole cushion-ing purpose
to cat-foot it all
into a slow burning hollow
of my humanity

who am I
why
instincts again
protect what serves me
a good night’s sleep
when there is always
someone caged
someone dying
and someone
subjugated to might   

even the ink
in this pen
eats my motivations
I am so willing
not to be
just to provide
you with entertainment
with an escape
I am the bridge
between paying attention
and paying another bill
come due between
you and surrender  

you watch me
fighting myself 
so willing to play
the fool that everyone needs
so afraid to die alone
I am willing to risk it all
to make you laugh
for another day   

I make myself
whatever you want
whatever you define
in the dark 
for comfort and
a ring of keys
to open the eyes
along the way   

noses are perfect thieves
they smell those willing
to laugh beyond reason
beyond the bent circuses
of twisting priorities to fit
what you can carry
in this modernity
we call progress

this life
we call a milliard names 
our humanity
screaming at hurtled speeds
is an answer to
an expectation of finality
in an infinite need
it seems we only want
to plant the first flag
to be the first to walk here
to be the first to drink
this water
but I know better
as the soul is such
an odd filter
such an off kilter grace
that all I ever seek
is an empty and
open space
as we race   

I paint my scabs
to pick the fantasies
that bleed best in
the on-the-go-mouths
that are feeding
the keeping up with the jones  

there are no masterpieces
in the wired world
there are only reflections
and the repeated choruses
the tin can sounds of every
what used to be
of everything we hold onto
as some sort of salvation 

sentiment and nostalgia
capture the market conditions
and we are sold renditions
of Heaven again and again
in traffic light swan songs
we play to paint nature
on the four walls
we surround comfort with
this way we don’t see
the garbage mountains
or the reasons to let go
and walk past the corpses
that we see in the mirror

you see, we read everything written
so we can depend on a belief
inside the sentence structure
and cadent sounds of language
we string along hope
with words like fiction
sand-papering free will gone awry
smoothing ourselves
at the change of seasons
to keep killing ourselves
in fields that ripen
with life enough
to keep questioning
who am I
to keep you laughing
for bread and my silence
and another day bargaining
revolution and evolution
for escape and the utmost reach
that skinned bones can stretch into
another tomorrow that might not
want to know who we are anymore

EJR ©

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