Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Poem

Don't get all excited. I didn't write a poem. But I have been thinking a lot lately about a poem a friend of mine showed to me a while back. It's by Dorianne Laux, entitled "Antilamentation," and it describes everything I feel sometimes - the frustration of doing things that aren't meaningful, feeling like you're wasting time and intellect... It's poignant and sad.

At least, to me it is. I'll let you read it for yourself.

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook, not
the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication, not
the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punch line, the door or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don't regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You've walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the window.
Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don't bother remembering any of it. Let's stop here,
under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

I still don't think I fully understand what it means, or if - as usual - I'm over thinking things. I just know that every time I read it, I ache.

That sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Have you ever longed for something more? But have no idea what it is you're craving?


  1. Wow. That's. . . wow. I feel like that all the time. Thanks for sharing. I hope you feel better, if you aren't that is.

  2. I'm feeling alright. It's just a feeling that hangs around sometimes.

    Writing fantasy-type fiction is hard sometimes, because it makes you want a reality that doesn't exist. Know what I mean?

  3. I certainly do! I have fictional people following me around all the time and I find wish they were real. Hah! It's one of those things that makes me feel quite insane.

    I'm glad you're doing alright. :)