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Nostalgia & Debility

September 14, 2009

Today I was home sick from work.  And so, bored in the afternoon, and also needing to find an old paper I’d written, I laid into the storage containers under my bed. There are three of them, and they are full of school papers, articles from magazines I’d particularly liked, poems, pictures (remember them—actual printed ones?), trinkets, old newspapers, mementos, books, concert tickets, and lots of notebooks.  I read through some of the notebooks and laughed out loud at stuff I’d written.  It was good to see all that old writing.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t write much, like I don’t deserve the title of “writer,” like I don’t ever try to do anything.  But seeing all those old notebooks, and plenty of newer ones on top of my bookshelf, felt good—an affirmation that I’ve always been writing, that it’s important to me and that I’ve put my money where my mouth is.

In going through the papers, I found an old poem I’d written and forgotten about, a relatively polished one that I must have written on my work computer, printed out, and subsequently forgotten.  So, for posterity, here it is (it’s kind of apropos, too, considering the sports season that’s just started):

In Bed at One P.M., Listening to the Football Game

Curled up with the cat
on this, the 2nd, the first
Saturday of November,

the radio crackles the game
as I gulp my wine and wonder
will he ever love me.

To love, to be loved,
to never be alone
around my one-track wine mind;

the team calls time, the station pauses
for station identification,
and a chemistry word comes to me:

emulsion.  My life in solution,
ready to settle out at the slightest
change in temperature.

Seek love or solace.  Silence or—
what?  Whatever it is it’s been
an age since I’ve known it.

The game’s back on.  I’m worried
I’ve blown it, wishing religion
could have kept up.  Jesus fell behind

like a winded little brother long
ago; not that I don’t know
it’s all shit after all.  Nothing that dies

comes back, and I never had the knack
for self-deception.  Then, washing back in,
the quarterback throws for a long reception;

suddenly the team’s on the ten.  Over the FM
I see the stacked stadium, thousands’
moods pegged to the push coming next—

the moment blossoms like a nova, and before
it’s over I toast the cat, who blinks,
not listening, but in that wise way

cats have, and quietly, quickly sing
the fight song, indulge in the imagining
that all this maybe means something.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2009 6:02 pm

    Awesome, bro. I like the inner rhymes and the nice, easy rhythm. And, of course, the meaning, and the poem. And the words, too. Definitely the words.

  2. September 15, 2009 10:07 am

    damn, man, this is tight. great line breaks, and love little winded bro hayzeus, station identification, the long reception and one-track wine mind, among others. excellent work. get those papers out from under your bed and out in print, man.

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