chicken-scratch

old noteboks fill boxes

in a cold New England basement

with chicken-scratch poetry

from a time of insanity

and its aftermath

you know, stories about

taking the wrong path

about drowning

and letting go

of the precious life raft.

Nightmares have eased

but some ghosts linger

the man in the mirror

still pointing a finger

8 years a blur

shaken

and stirred

exams taken

and papers written

but lessons learned

too late

must fate be?

blind men saw

better than me

-scratch-

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angry and afraid

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my bed was made

-scratch-

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alone and forsaken

by only myself

notebooks moved

from bookshelves

to boxes

alone only

in my mind

must I be a martyr?

time after

and after

the dust settled

it was too late

thought I’d figure

my shit out

and out run fate

-scratch-

-scratch-

too fast

too late

lonely

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cheap dates

on Dot Ave

with only god knows

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depressed,

writing A papers

on Dunkin

and NoDoz

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and life goes on

-scratch-

and so it goes…

-scratch-

and so fall fell

away

and it was too late

and fuck fate

and I

-scratch-

cried

because I

lied

to myself

-scratch-

and grandma

moved those notebooks

-scratch-

from the dusty bookshelf

and they sit

in a box

and I try to forget

but some things

you can’t lock

away

and some things

you don’t want to

-scratch-

and sometimes

you read a page

or two

once every year

or two

and get chills

and sometimes

you read something else

and get chills

-scratch-

and sometimes

you wonder…

-scratch-

scared to death

in Babylon

and something

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got you through

something…

-scratch-

kept you from the ledge

of the old Ba’ath party building

on the bad days,

eight stories up

something…

brought you home

-scratch-

and something

-scratch-

and someone…

made you happy

and someone cared

and someone loved you

and you loved someone

but didn’t dare

stay happy

didn’t deserve

couldn’t deserve

wanted to deserve

-did deserve-

but couldn’t deserve…

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and pages turned

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and chapters fell away

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and new chapters started

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and ended

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and the cheap paper fades

and the memories fade

and black hair slowly

fades

to gray

and I can’t stay

-scratch-

I have somewhere to be…

and I’m always running

but never can find

-scratch-

sanity

and the poetry helps

-scratch-

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and time helps

-scratch-

there are too many

lessons learned

from too many

mistakes made

-scratch-

and it kills me

that I wasn’t

the only oneĀ 

footing the bill

when the price

was paid

-scratch-

and I’m not running now

but Christ,

my feet itch

-scratch-

and what if

I stayed?

-scratch-

and what if

I stay now?

-scratch-

I sort of know how

and it seems easy

but the demons

always come back

-scratch-

they never fucking leave

-scratch-

and the booze and cigs

are a year gone

and every day

theres a new dawn

-scratch-

but the demons come back

and the angels are gone

and the angle is wrong

and the wagons lonely

but I won’t fall off

and these chicken-scratch poems

will be lost in a notebook

and put in a box

and burned when I die

and I hope no one reads it

I don’t want them to cry

but I’ll try

and I’ll try

-scratch-

to keep hanging on

to the farm

and this life

to my dogs

and my wife

-scratch-

to this pen

and this memory

that I’ll never forget

it’s a catch-22

but of course I regret…

-scratch-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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