Poem of the Day, April 29: "Decades"

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Summary: Skipped a few, but I'm back the last couple of days of the month to finish this out. This one is about realizing you are not who you could have been, and will not be who you think you will become.

BLOT: (29 Apr 2016 - 10:41:24 PM)

Poem of the Day, April 29: "Decades"

So, I only managed maybe 15 "poems of the day" out of 30 possible, but that's pretty good. I have today's poem written, that would have been a poem from a few days ago except I couldn't quite get into the flow of it, and then life happened and I was really tired, so I figured rather than force a "catch up" post with three or four poems, I'd just let a few lacunae birth themselves into non-being. Skipping ahead to today, tonight's poem is "Decades", and is something like a sister poem to "Grotto", which was me looking back to my old mopey teenage self and realizing I'm a 38-year-old mopey self. This one references an odd bit of philosophy: if you only have one life to live, every choice you make kills all those other yous who could have been, therefore you commit suicide every single day, in many ways, and by the time you make it to your late thirties you are a mass-murderer, a serial killer specializing in victims sharing your name and general life disposition. It is perhaps the opposite of my Million-Billion Dougs philosophy, but perhaps the truest form of it. There are not a million-billion Dougs, there is just one, and he has killed the rest. Whether or not he reigns supreme is up to him, or I should say, the him that will eventually be the last Doug alive, one last Doug facing himself, and then he will fade into nothing, probably thinking of himself as a failure, despite outwitting all the others in the only race that matters: the race to exist. [Note: since I've skipped quite a few poems, I've sped up the weird icon that accompanies them so it can reach its final form by the final one, tomorrow.]


Decades are dust on my teeth and my tongue
Catches spit red like blood and drips years my lips
Crack open words and this is all of me, this muddy time
Flowing down my back and an old man I have become
In the very act of fleeing the ire of younger selves,
Grown ugly and tired and a mirror of dreams
I have barely nurtured to fruition, the betrayal
Of circumstance and the air of expedience
The path of least resistance to become the
Not the me of such improbable destinies:
Forks in the road and dice rolls slapping tables,
Glass houses for catch fate quick schemes,
Fool of the cards wild and all hands and feet.
Suicide is living long enough to watch all possibilities
Turn left down the road to better things, a million-billion
Victims of the choices you wear out every day.

Here is me as a scientist and he digs deeper against
Star burnt mysteries and here is me as preacher
And God like a fire tears out my eyes and here
Is me as a family man with children fluttering ground
And a yard and a house and a door with my name upon
And here is me as a mad poet prophesying rhyme
And proselytizing rhyme and here is me as a dead
Man tombstone and there is no big enough apostrophe
To define all that could have been mine but here is me
As this old man and in my pocket are all these decades
Burning a hole and spent and dry despite all the rain
Falling loud outside of my window into the whispery
Scratch of another late night listening to music,
The currency of age and what could have been
Had it not been that that which has been happened
And living is just the masks you wear in remembrance
Of all those done died yous left in those other truths,

Another dead youth to an even older you falls behind,
And all those decades keep falling gravities into sound,
As if it were not really you on the road to the mountaintop,
Seeing yourself seeking one last question then full stop.


Written by Doug Bolden

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