Monday, February 28, 2005

Pop's Massive Heart


Tomorrow he’ll be
gone six years

that’s 6 Christmases
and 6 birthdays.

I can hardly remember
his voice
and his lyrical
mispronunciation.

he was unpretentious
but he wouldn’t
even use that word

he’d just say that
he didn’t want to
put on airs.

I used to be a little
embarrassed for him –
he was so at ease
with himself
that he didn’t realize
his shirts were too
tight
and his walk
was too bouncy.

He didn’t know that
he wasn’t cool
and I know he didn’t care
as he loved me and my mom
and my brothers.

He put everyone before
himself
and never expected
any credit
any commendation

there was never a trace
of martyrdom in
his duty.

I think he just saw
how so many people
just talked a big game
but never really
lived up to their word.

His words were small
his actions were constant
his heart was massive

and I guess that’s why
his heart attack was
massive as well

he wasn’t perfect
but he came damned close

and he was mine,
my Pop.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Booze (Feb. 9 2005)


Perhaps I thought
I needed you

to fill in all the
unexplored
parts of my
youth

to fill out my resume
and give my avocation
a credible status.

I saw Bukowski
booze it
and Dorothy Parker
and they were
masterful,

but I wasn't them
and the booze became
my monster
in short order,

and at the same time
I couldn't subordinate
my mad frantic
creation of self
to anyone or
anything

and just as quickly
as I picked it up
I put it down,

determined to be
never again
in its moribund
embrace,

and I lived a life
with pain and heartache
and betrayal and lies and gluttony
and death wishes
but I still came out alive
and sober

now I do not
see that destruction as
romantic or attractive

but the love affair
was necessary then

now
it'd be silly and posturing.

So as I glide into
my 15th year
of sobriety

I am quietly
thankful
for every day,

every smile
every moment of gratitude

as I hear my wife's laughter
and my children's reliance on
Pop-O

I see how the road
stretched

and that booze has no place here

besides a drunk poet is
such a cliche

I still have pain
loss
anger
longing
unfilled wishes
envy

but they are mine
and I refuse
to drown them.