Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Open Letter to My Younger Self (inspired by Shay Fireblossom)

First off,
stop worrying that
you’re too fat.
You aren’t.

that most things your parents
are going to tell you
have been rinsed in fear:
they just don’t want you
to live like they had to.

When they tell you
forget about the music,
don’t try to be a comedian,
they’re not trying
to discourage you,
they’re just scared
you’re going to be
living in a car.

But here’s a little secret:
like so many grown-ups
in this world,
they mean well,
but they’re wrong.

I see your creative spark,
your recessive gene of madness
and no,
I don’t think
you don’t talk too much.

You crack me up.

To be who you really are,
you’ll have to be
against the wall
and alone.

It’s perfectly fine
that you’d rather
stay inside and read
and listen to Beatles records
than go outside
and play football.

Don’t let people
who are afraid to sing
keep you from singing
and writing your song.

Don’t work too hard
to fit into this world:
be yourself
and make the world
come around to you.

It’s not always
going to be this
gray and flavorless.

those roses
Mom planted
out back?

those didn’t bloom

and neither will

Moskowitz, circa 1965


  1. And he is loved. Terrific.

  2. I love it, and I'm honored by the shout-out, dear Mosk.

    "Don’t work too hard
    to fit into this world:
    be yourself
    and make the world
    come around to you."

    That's my favorite part. Let the mountain come to Moskowitz, that's what I say! ;-)

    1. Thank you, Shay! Must admit that is a quote I heard Quentin Crisp say on Dave Letterman all the way back to 1982 - stuck with me ever since.

  3. letter mosk...and love your advice for particular, To be who you really are,
    sometimes you’ll have to be against the wall and alone....lot of truth in that man...

    1. Thanks, brother. And as I get older, it gets easier to stand alone against the world when it comes to being who I is.

  4. Like the inspiration and looking back to yourself~

    I specially love the metaphor of the roses; it take a lifetime to bloom ~

    Much enjoyed ~

    1. Thanks, roses are my metaphor of choice for God's perfection.

  5. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Mosk, what an incredible idea and beautifully done. I loved loved loved it. How honest and revealing and enlightened and so sweet. The roses at the end were damn perfect
    amy jo

    1. Thanks Amy - yes, roses are my chosen metaphor for perfection.

  6. Anonymous11:49 AM

    Mosk, my comment got deleted so I shall repeat myself. It's my damn computer. Anyway what an incredible idea and beautifully done! It's so honest and revealing and heart-wrenching and sweet. I Loved Loved Loved it. Creative as hell
    amy jo

  7. Anonymous6:44 PM

    I thought this was just super great . .. like you! :) And to think you grew up to be even cuter than that adorable pic! Wow! Thanks, poet friend!

  8. Oy, that punim!! What a cutie patootie you were and are, bruddah mine. If my mom hadn't given me the same advice, I'd never have had such a fun life. I might have ended up just another alcoholic housewife... This message is so true. I can hear you passing it along to generations. (Maybe this is also why Riley is in art school!) Love you, Ameleh

    1. Thank you Ameleh, Yes my parents were so security-minded that they forgot to risk a little and have more fun. Fortunately, I'm trying to change that for my kids. Love, Mosk