Poetry: Irreconcilable

I can’t write in 20,000 words what I can in a poem
I can’t be as honest in prose as I can in poetry
Because in a poem I can tell you I don’t believe in a G-d without saying it
In a poem I can tell you I destroy the beautiful things I touch without confessing a thing
In a poem I can tell you that I am afraid
I’m afraid that love is just a chemical reaction and not the spiritual alchemy I thought it was
And I’m afraid that I’ll never have a family of my own
I’m afraid of so much
I’m afraid I’m not as good at life as I once was
And tonight I’m finding it hard to hope
I’m finding it hard to be alone
I’m finding it hard to love the man in the mirror
Tonight he feels like the man his ex girlfriends think he is:
A jerk, a dick, an asshole – a panoply of lewd nouns and adjectives; even a couple of verbs, and sometimes a mash-up of both: fucking asshole.
Ladies and gentleman, I present: the bowels of the English language, aka me
I’m so jaded, it all sounds pretty believable tonight
And it sucks living in a world where those I love hate me, how strange it must be for them: living in a world where those you hate love you
None of it makes any sense tonight
Hence it must be written down
I’m not crazy
Just postmodern
Just a poet
Just a man
As flawed as my heroes:
Mandela had affairs
Alan Watts drank too much
I’m only human
But I’m reminded of the time I was talking to this homeless hippie in the village and when I said something about being human he said that we shouldn’t use ‘human’ as a synonym for imperfect, and that our humanity shouldn’t be an excuse for our behavior, but rather a benchmark for how we should behave
War is inhumane
And when you look up inhumane it says “Not human; lacking humanity, kindness, compassion, etc”
And so the homeless man taught me something valuable about humanity, how completely fitting
And now that my exes have learned a new word, I shall henceforth be known as inhumane
But I am absolutely human
And that’s why I write, to preserve my humanity and maintain my sanity
I write about what it means to be human
And in a poem I have so much freedom to do this
And I want to be a champion for poetry
Not just the entire romantic tradition of poetry but the freedom a poet is given to say anything
I can write an entire poem on the burdens of testicle ownership for a deviant medieval prince:

With great power comes great responsibility, and so heavy lies the crown that the prince hardly put his favorite toy down
Quit playing with your sword they told the little lord
And why must every shower last half an hour?
“In the name of the family jewels I must slay the dragon”
Fair fair, but next time you empty your flagon don’t stab anything that pulls a wagon
Your neighbor’s ox is simply not meant to be a sausage box

and this is the simple beauty and the magic of poetry
The power to create without boundaries and without rules
It doesn’t even have to rhyme
But the point is that poetry allows us to transfigure difficult things into bites we can chew on and swallow
A poet predigests ideas
How else can I say what I said about being afraid and hated?
I don’t think I could have
A poem is a safe place to bare your soul for a couple of minutes while the rest of the world pays no attention
Writing and reading poetry teaches you about what it means to be a human being
Poems humanize things by sanitizing them
Poetry is about being vulnerable and brave
It’s about declaring the things you think in the dead of the cool, dark night
And it’s about trying to reconcile the irreconcilable things
I am not alone in being hated by those I love
I am trying to answer the questions I dare not ask
For even the most publicly adored can be detested by those who have come closest to them
And what does this teach them
Lord knows
But I hope I find someone for whom hating me is an impossibility
But I’m losing faith

Yet I wake up praying

One thought on “Poetry: Irreconcilable

  1. […] But it’s a poem I had to write, because it encapsulates a feeling that’s been turning over in my soul lately, and as I’ve admitted before, poets only write poetry when they are upset – and often I use poetry as a medium for my writing because in a poem I can say things that I don’t feel safe to admit in prose, because feel like a poem is a safe place to bare your soul for a couple of minutes while the rest of the world pays …  […]


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