Archive for January, 2010

the outsider

Every so often I look in the mirror and I wonder who the hell I am. Sometimes I feel like I am an invisible man, sitting alone, on a piece of concrete as throngs of people rush on by. And sometimes, I’m the apathetic bystander, the one who walks by and looks the other way.

This poem is about that awkward dichotomy, and about losing one’s humanity, which is what cities make us do, to a certain extent. I’ll probably refine the poem with time, but the first draft often has a kernel of spontaneity that’s hard to replicate. I like first drafts for that reason.

the outsider
He wore himself awkwardly
awkwardly he wore himself
until he was worn right out
right out of the way. They
didn’t care, the others
they didn’t care at all,
they walked right by
right by

He carried himself awkwardly
awkwardly he carried himself
until he had no strength left,
none. But they didn’t care, the others
they didn’t care at all,
they passed right on by
right on by

He sat by the road awkwardly
awkwardly he sat by the road
until his feet fell off, and floated
and bobbed in the traffic. They
didn’t care, the others, they
didn’t care at all, they
stomped right by
right on by

He cried by the side of the road, awkwardly
awkwardly he cried and died. But
they didn’t care, the others
they didn’t care at all–
until the maggots groped
out of his eyes. Then–

they cared, the others
they cared a great deal. They
called pest control to come on by
come on by

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January 13, 2010 at 6:27 am 1 comment


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