The Many Faces of Poetry: Poems Never EndPosted: October 8, 2021
The woman is talking to her shopping cart;
or: she’s talking to the stuff IN the shopping cart, it’s hard to know.
She doesn’t have a home. Maybe she’s talking to her home, that makes
a bit of sense.
I was there, for a part of my life.
I didn’t know where I would sleep.
An unlocked car or truck, maybe.
It was horrible; I was always scared.
I had a friend, one friend. You’ve got to have someone
at your back
when you’re low on the pole. If you’re lucky
that person won’t take your stuff
My guy was an ex and future con named Roger. We liked the same drugs.
If I scored, Roger scored too.
You’ve got to have something to do
when you’re homeless. Copping drugs
fills the day, occupies the role of job and family.
I was better at copping than Roger. For him, I was a profit taking venture.
He probably wound up in jail again. He did time at Arizona State Prison
for cracking safes. He was bound to get busted again.
I wasn’t. I didn’t.
“We haven’t earned the right to forget”. Guy Le Cuerrec
IF you think the gate is in front of you
look to the side.
If you think the gate is behind you
If you think a window is closed
in your room, it may be open but
hidden inside the closet.
If you think there is a closet
there is a closet.
I didn’t expect
to have to be this brave
to live in the world.
I had no idea.
I didn’t know what I would need,
how much strength it would take,
how deeply I would fail,
how inadequate I would feel.
I’m not ready.
I look at ways out;
I look at death,
I look at drugs,
I use every excuse
I do it every day.
I didn’t expect it
to be this hard.
My imagination was not prepared
to encompass the misery,
the sheer strangeness
of what happens,
what has happened,
what I can’t make un-happen.
I thought I would be protected.
I thought it would be pleasant.
I thought it would be okay,
that I would have a good time,
be satisfied, get away free of entanglements,
leave a nice footprint
that could be seen clearly
down through time.
I am surprised by the mud,
appalled by the blood,
angry with god for letting this happen
to anyone, let alone people I know and love.
I didn’t expect to have to be this brave.
I didn’t think I had it in me;
I still don’t. But I persist
in spite of every difficulty.
I don’t really know why.
It’s not a matter of a foolish belief sustaining me.
My belief is not foolish. My belief is my survival.
There simply is nothing large enough,
only God the Unknowable
can hold the grand squalor,
the screaming birth,
the wriggling, enduring heart at the center
of this beleaguered world.
I have no strength, no courage,
I have nothing but strategies to avoid
agony, and they don’t always work.
I survive, for a time,
while the world survives
forever, stronger than
I can be, deeper than I can fulfill,
more powerful than my will,
defiant in the face
of my disappointment in myself.
The world and something loving that redeems
Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.
Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.
More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com
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