Okay guys, this is a really old one. I kept debating putting it up at all, because I feel I lose the point I’m making at the very end and it kind of falls apart, but, for posterity’s sake. I’m not sure where to date this, but I think the “chat room” reference early on gives it a fairly solid point of reference. Sooo…likely written in the late 90s or early 00s. We didn’t have a computer in the house until I went to college in 1998, so it’s unlikely I would have been making computer references in poems before that point, but I also know the thrill of chat rooms evaporated really quickly (do they even exist anymore? Ah, the dial-up days of yesteryear…lol), so I probably wouldn’t have been offering much social commentary on them for more than a few years. As such, I’m estimating that the original version of this poem (I have no idea if it was ever edited or not) was likely written before I was old enough to drink.
I’ve gotten sick of being a poet.
The intellectual subterfuge is so thick
even my metaphors are barely breathing.
But I’m a word-junkie:
I can’t seem to kick the habit.
Now I run around shouting
like a chat room conversation:
Even I don’t know what I’m saying.
Rather than a poet,
maybe I can be a prophet of small details.
Like always knowing exactly
when traffic lights will change,
or how many hundreds of seconds
it will take for the tea water to boil
or the best time to break an awkward conversation.
When people ask what I’m doing with my life,
I can tell them, “counting”
and laugh when they ask ‘counting on what?’
Or I can be a carpenter—
so my hands can speak for me.
An entrepreneur buying lies.
A journalist digging for dirt,
Or a miner digging in it.
-amazing what a difference a preposition can make, isn’t it?-
I just said preposition…
I guess I’m stuck being a poet after all—
An anglicized American
Deep fried, super-sized, and burnt out.