Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Personal Website" (a poem by "pen name")

Personal Website
(pen name)

The fire in their hearts went out;
as I read about Ancient Greeks
and an extinct Regime

And crowds in Libya cheer
when I gave up beer.

I saw me and the whole world changing
and I wanted to relight a fire
lonely on the island of Lesbos

And recalled my love of Catulus
with his constantly changing moods
and his love of someone he could never accept

And W.H. Auden
whose lovers were not ever meet in intelligence or age

Whole pantheons of Gods
big and small

And I was so happy
to get an email
from Levi

because it ain't history unless it is written

Sending forlorn love letters,
in fountain pen ink
wondering how the paper will age
and I think of a neighborhood
in Denver
my fifth home

I don't know Thomas Wolfe
I just keep traveling
a character from a John Barth

I want to think I am rogue
and I bet I'd love reading a book about myself

the numerous suicide attempts
substance abuse
hard traveling

with a pocket full of classics
and I'm drinking a Mexican Coke
eating a taco somewhere

and all these roads all leading to some town in Germany
my grandfather visited
all those shrines for heroes of wars

and I smell my mothers cooking

what does separate poetry from prose
thinking I shouldn't send a letter
but what harm could come from a letter-
it sounds so romantic
Lord Byron
with ever changing moods
and I read the buses of my mind
from my own Spandau Prison
but I'm not going to die young
I decided

Will someone please send some Nivea
I can't get it from the commissary
talk about jail time
little fat
but still able to go for long walks, do pull ups
the mystery of my own body
with so many broken bones

and that pea jacket
mad mad mad
St. Stephen
thanks for giving me a song I can sing...

("Personal Website" originally appeared on Literary Kicks' Action Poetry page, February 22, 2011.)

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