Originally posted 12/29/2012.
From the place I buried it all — a deep hole
I never completely filled in —
I shall pull up the eight balls of blow and the late night breakfasts
that never stayed with me for longer than it took
to get in the car and get moving, drunk and wired,
toward whatever couch was that morning’s home.
I shall pull up the empty little gun I got in trade
for a bag of acid, pull up the skinny tie
and the hospital scrubs, the songs I wrote
when bored, the awful poetry I believed in
so hard I sprained my ego on it, even when there was
no evidence for its quality, no reason for it to exist at all.
Pull up the arrogant fool, the know it all,
the callous junior playboy
up to screw whoever was up for it;
pull up as well any scrap of memory
any of those partners left behind, that I might
recall a time when I was superficially lovable.
What’s left in there when all that’s come up to the light?
A boy, still a skinny boy then,
though tending toward my later heft.
A stupid young man
with a bad car
and a jammed tapedeck
and damaged visions of a swift escape from this earth.
I pull them up, pull it all up,
the way you’d yank a weed that won’t die,
frantically hoping I’ve got it all this time:
every bit of what keeps sprouting in my life
when I least desire it,
now that it’s inconvenient
and no one thinks
or melancholy-artist-appropriate anymore.
I want it poisoned.
I want it gone. I want to
pull it all up and burn it all down
from the memories of how it began
to the new shoots that expose me,
that nag me, that shout to the world that what I was
is what I am; that no matter how hard I pull,
I am rooted in failure and will always fail.