OLD MAN POEM

i am one hundred and fifty years old already
my bones ache and my cane is brittle
i mope about the house and write old man poems
to the sound of dust on the shelves
i drink my soup without a spoon
and look back on the golden days that never were

i take cold showers and hour long baths
my friends call from time to time
but most times i can’t figure out
how to answer the god damn telephone

the mail man, he knows me
margaret on lane six at walmart, she knows me
the people through the phone, they listen to me
talk about my life, my life, my life
and the war, the war, the war
and the garden, the garden, the garden
and my wife, my wife, my wife

the edges of memories need mending
but i hold close in my mind
a picture of Sicilia, in her prime

the television and i have become too familiar
he reads the words of the stories to me
i put him on mute and read the words
i listen to the rain hitting the cluttered storm drains

i breakfast at the crack of dawn
i drink coffee and eat very little
lunch at eleven
dinner at four
at seven i turn off the t.v.

i pray beside my perfect bed
i lay me down to sleep
and i wonder
if when i close my eyes
it will be the last time

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ “MADNESS IN RESPONSE TO MINGUS”

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WHY I WRITE POETRY

because
when it comes
it comes like a mack truck
and i don’t have the strength
to plant my heels
firmly in the dirt
and slow it down
and i don’t want it to pass on by
so my only choice
is to stick out my thumb
jump in
and ride along
with this shady methed-out
truck driver
until one of us
is ready to kill the other

because
when it comes
it comes like a great woman
and i’m usually and inconveniently drunk
so i ask her to dance
in a loud room
where maybe she won’t notice my slurring
and i wear my cologne thick
so maybe she won’t smell
the booze on my breath
and the dance never lasts long
and usually
i end up taking a cab home
and usually
she goes her own separate way
but sometimes
she comes with me
and we spend the night together
tossed in madness and revelation

because
when it comes
it comes like shock therapy
and in the pain
the swelling of the temples
the shaking of the muscles
the boiling of blood cells
sometimes
there is a moment of strong breath
where some ghost escapes
and someone else sees it
and them and me
will always have that
even if i’m not all there

because
when it comes
it comes like a letter bomb
and i could just throw it away
never open it
and the truth is
if i did that
i would be fine
but time and again
i play russian roulette
i do what’s worst for me
i open the letter
i inhale the toxins
i remind myself
that i am not god
and i am reasonably sure
that god would not be himself
if any of us
were ever considerate enough
to give him a choice
in the matter

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT”