Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Cripple (For Johnny Masuda)

This world is stocked
with misery and sickness,
suffering pustules
and weepy abscesses
that don’t heal.

We've social leprosy
infectious paranoia
and contagious fear.

Limbs are broken
by greed and distrust,
backs wracked with
painful memories
and regret.

We've gone deaf
from cranking up the volume,
drowning out
all the advertisements
calculated to exploit
the unspoken suspicion
of our innate worthlessness.

We are blinded
by too many things
bronzed in covetous flesh.

We didn't start out
like this
but this world corrupts
perverts and
convinces us
there is no other way.

But I've found my way
out of this madhouse,
one desperate prayer
at a time.

My detractors try
to discourage me
but they speak the truth:

“Christ is a crutch.”

Yeah?
Well, I’m a cripple.

[Posted for Poets Pub at http://dversepoets.com/ -where we are to write on a poet that influenced us to write.  Johnny Masuda was my friend and colleague, in writing and in life. He died last year.  This was based on something he said to me. Rest in peace, brother.]

30 comments:

  1. An outstanding tribute to your friend. In this sense truly, being a cripple is being strong. "But I've found my way..." Strong stanza and carries the truth until the last two lines. Meaningful write on this prompt. Hayes Spencer is Kanzensakura.

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    1. Thank you - Masuda was always saying unexpected things like that.

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  2. Mosk, those last three stanzas really speak reams. Your friend Johnny must have been quite an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks, Johnny M was an inspiration and a good friend, flawed though he was.

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  3. What a strong tribute to your friend. I think he would be pleased.

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    1. Thanks, he was pretty modest, but I know he would've been pleased.

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  4. Poignant write. I did not expect the last two lines but when they came, they were very thought-provoking. Found myself reading the whole thing over again. Excellent. And sorry for the loss of a friend who obviously said some very deep and meaningful things to you!

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    1. Thanks, CC. If you Google him you might find some of his poetry online.

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  5. The advice of Jesus to turn it all of and look within.. works as well today.. as it did for then..:)

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    1. Thanks so much. Always go back to the source.

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  6. To have an inspiration like this.. What wonder, and what loss.. The last lines tie it up so well. Thank you for sharing Mosk,

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    1. Thank you and Google "Johnny Masuda' you won't be disappointed.

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  7. A strong statement, swift as a sword, straight as a bird's flight. You made me curious about your friend and I did read some of his poetry online. As far as I can tell, you've captured his words and spirit very well in this poem.

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    1. Much thanks, and I hope I did him justice.

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  8. Great lines, and I find I agree with them very much

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    1. Thanks, and for the last twenty years of his life, he was physically crippled, now thankfully he is free.

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  9. It is such a privilege to have a friendly person around to share similar interests. It is a strong support that can create lots of advantages. How sad that he has passed on! Great lines Buddah!

    Hank

    Hank

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    1. Thanks, and yes, he was a great guy to go through graduate school with, (In sociology, Cal State Fullerton).

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  10. Yeah that punchline, well it punches. Excellent write, Mosk, excellent tribute. Sorry for your loss. I think I read something else you wrote about Johnny Masuda... perhaps you have more to come.

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    1. Thanks, and I looked up some of his old writings and was delighted that he wrote one for me:

      http://johnnymasuda.joeuser.com/article/157975/Moskowitz_the_flying_dutchman

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  11. ... hope despite the dreary and found in prayer, lovely... the cripple line so cool

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    1. Thanks, that was Masuda - cool in unexpected ways.

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  12. we're crippled in so many ways - and so often it's our own fault.. glad that he came for us who so desperately need healing

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    1. Yes, thanks, I always think of that John Lennon song "the one thing you can't hide is when you're crippled inside."

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  13. So nice to pay tribute to your friend. The first lines were so depressing, then the hope was very lifting. He must have been a good guy. We're all cripples one way or other.

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    1. Thanks, Masuda and I were both critical sociologists and tried to incorporate the real world in our writings.

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  14. My mom used to have a sarcastic expression, "Funny as a crutch." This reminds me of her, this poem, in so many ways. She was a cynic with the beauty of music and capacity for feeling lining her heart. "The world stinks, that's why I wear perfume." And yeah, she is the soil from which I spring. Johnny sounds like an earthy human being, somebody I would have like to share coffee or a beer with. Your rap sessions must have been wildly fun, filled with the romance of life. Buddah, you did it again. With some help from your friend... Love, Ameleh

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    1. Thanks Ameleh. Masuda's writings are scattered throughout the internet, and he used his manic phases of his bipolar status to write. He told me he wrote the bulk of his book in one setting. He was a complex mountain of a fellow.

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  15. Oh, I see the tribute--I was going to say that this isn't your normal optimistic self! Well done. I too am a cripple!

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    1. Thanks, Susan, from one cripple to another.

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