Poem: "Another Night Lost to Drinking Poetry"

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Summary: Sometimes a good goodbye is the best gift you can give, though maybe I suck at gift giving.

BLOT: (12 Aug 2016 - 10:36:39 PM)

Poem: "Another Night Lost to Drinking Poetry"

Another night lost to drinking away poetry
Another night lost to drowning memories
Reshaping them into lines, giving them names
Putting them into cardboard boxes, trying to forget
Another midnight coming on fast like a train
As I sit here on the tracks, putting thoughts
To paper, following after words I never know
If I will have courage to speak, to admit
I feel, but I write them all because they haunt
Me and my walks and my quiet summer miles
Lights and horns blaring, seeking an end
To this need to be spoken, wrapping mouth
Around the lines unwritten, the desperate hoping
That I would somehow stop feeling them before
They were poured on pages, typed and dead,
Finally outloud, a tragedy born and bleeding.

I seek to balance the after and the before,
Balance the silence with the life and laughter,
Balance the absence with the time together,
Balance the standing with falling down grace,
Balance the sadness with the happiness once,
Balance the today with the Saturdays gone.
All these photos of you, smiling and laughing,
Become just another grave for a poem's passing,
Become just another tiger stalking through forests.
All the things said, the jokes and the idle chatter,
All the happiness felt, what can any of it matter?
The posters, the verses, the friendly curses,
The angry fights over food and shoes and meaning,
The pouring out over sidewalks and through malls,
Down roads and near ponds, the quiet touches,
The singing the rhyming the reading the breathing
Of hours and minutes and seconds gone away
For a dawn has fallen, run out into rivers
Streaming down to an ocean, a beach of forever.
Such simple enjoyment gone, no matter the reasons.
And some of them were quite good, we needed
Space to process the melting of distance,
To process the labels we had for each other,
I needed to be myself and you needed to know
Who you were in possibility, and to other
Hearts we needed to dedicate our care and time
Because even at its best my heart failed to explain
All the things it washed into you with the rising tide
As you washed into it when the waves flowed out.

You were never my poetry, never my gifts,
You were never my friendship nor my I love you,
You were never my ideals, never my missteps,
You were not even your last harsh words,
No matter how much truth you imparted in them.
Even if I know I am stronger than the weakness
You painted like tattoos on my skin, I am glad
That you got to express my darkness in the end,
Because it was one last argument I won,
A final proof of the things I had tried to explain to you,
And no matter how much more of me there is beyond
The things you said, sometimes cracked mirrors
Are what we look to for our own lost reflection
And I hold this mirror, now, looking back into myself
As a failure of a friend, a failure of parts,
A failure in love, a failure to be a better man,
A machine running down into its own bad end.
Broken and unhealthy, uncomfortable to tolerate
Behind the days you were counting down like sand.
And all that year of things thought so sweet and pure
Became just a mask for the hate you needed
To express in confused parting, became sounds.

So here I am, drinking away another night to poetry
Trying to forget, but finding it easier to forgive
Even when I feel mostly confused by all of this.
(Forgive you, I mean, I'm not sure how to forgive myself.)
I look back, not for the last time, over the horizon,
And wonder what else could have been
If different afternoons talked of different things
But a million-billion pairs of eyes look forward
And I know questions like that have no answers,
For it was what it was, something into itself,
But like all things, it ran out of time to be expressed
And became a ghost of a puzzle, a music box,
A shadow of a year sitting on a dusty shelf,
The ink dries into the past, becomes something else.

Now the next chapter opens up, already here,
Midnight wanes, I close the page and shut the door
Behind me as I head out to watch meteors fall.
I wish it had been a better goodbye, my beautiful friend,
But we barely got to choose the start or the finish.


Written by Doug Bolden

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