Thursday, May 11, 2017

rough draft

"Chicks like bullshit," my best friend at the bar said,
still in the game.
And I had no bullshit to give,
except if you were to carefully observe yourself,
the good job I did at it, with a wink,
the thousands of people I had talked to
in more than two decades on my feet
in front of them, shaking hands.

So was I worried when she said,
she'd met a boy.
But not much I could really do.
More than twice her age.
What could I tell her,
about all the things
I'd been through, survived,
with pluck and toil, humor,
simple absorption.

The kid was bad enough,
who knew what he wanted,
and how to get there.
But--the bright spot--
hard for me to see at first,
no idea who he is.

But I am bullshit too.
Very good at it, in fact.

The first time you see a face
is the first time all over again,
an iceberg of a person,
floating in the cold sea,
responding to heat and sun.
The things, the talent,
people do not see,
and little the possibility
of knowing you very well,
but when you get on the other side of age,
and start to appreciate character,
the odd bits about a person
who somehow maintained 
being an individual,
which even he or she might not
the self understand.

How to bring this poem to a close,
but that you've kept that possibility,
of knowing who are, what you want,
and something how to get it,
what shape it is, what it looks like
and feels like, seen in a picture,
fresh, alive, there, here, now,
allowing wildness,
not captivity of the thing.

The effort you've put forth, all your life,
coming into some focus, and even some use.
Write a poem without knowing well,
but of what you have to say.

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