An empty glass, an empty mind

I am just an old man with no kids, well unless you count my bottles of liquor as my children. I have a disease, my liver and life is a disease. I allow the alcohol to poison every aspect of my body, letting it seep into every pore and crevice of my body in hopes of wasting away on this goddamn stool. I have lost count how many times my night has ended with me sitting on this stool drinking. I have often thought that when I die my funeral will be held here at this very bar, I have lived out my life here so why not have it end here. I will probably drink myself to my death on this stool anyways.

 I have alluded to becoming a patron saint of the drunks, but I haven’t gone to church in years. My faith has gone along with my self realization of happiness. Pitilessness has filled me and I cannot control my hands as they shove down more and more alcohol down my throat. In the attempts to find happiness I have found illness and addiction.

 The bar closes at midnight and it is a quarter to midnight, I can probably squeeze in one more drink. But only if the bartender has forgotten how many drinks I have had. Well I have forgotten how many drinks I’ve had. But that’s okay because I still have a couple bottles at home, it has become a habit to come here. I walk the same road to the bar, the same walk way to my apartment and I come home to everything in the dumps. When I was young everyone said to me “you’ll always be changing, you’ll never stop changing.” But they were wrong, once I hit 65 everything stayed the same. I lived a life of schedule, and everything became a step. Going around and around and around in circles dragging on.

 “Eddie I have to close the bar down,” Frank the bartender said.

 I looked up at him and nodded “I knnow.” I slid off the stool, the floor was lopsided and I stumbled to steady myself. I took slow steps attempting to stay up. At least I could walk.

 I staggered home walking down the empty streets. There was an old story that ghosts would come out at night to spread terror to the people out wondering the roads late at night. But I have yet to see the ghost, except for in my mind. My mind reeks of emptiness and the past continues to haunt me, my dead youth is the ghosts in the walls of my cranium. I passed a group of young women in short dresses, they were all huddled together and laughing, I made eye contact and quickly walked away. Only the lovers and the lonely walk the night at this time, destined to find silence and solitude in their future. The lovers never last, and the lonely only get lonelier. The street lights were dull which wasn’t helping my inability to find the ground. Everything was swaying and I felt myself fall, but I was unable to put my hands up to stop myself from hitting the ground face first. The gravel pushing against the side of my cheek and palms of my hands. I didn’t have the energy in me to push myself off the cement and onto my feet, but I didn’t want to wake up somewhere else other than my bedroom floor. I felt the cool wind against my back and as I began to fade I heard footsteps.

 Black and a dull pain that was rising slowly to more than a dull pain. An escape soon turns to the reality of laying somewhere unfamiliar.

 There was a steady beep and a click of heels slowly fading away. I opened my eyes to see fluorescent lights and white washed walls. The hospital. I could tell by the pattern of the ceiling. The dots were so unregular and very annoying to look at, but there was a least 200 black dots in every tile. It is not a personal achievement of mine, it is one of the many flaws. I sat up, the lights and windows blurred together and it hurt. I leaned on the the stiff pillow and looked around, everything was the same. The walls turned into glass and the glass made it feel like a zoo with the blinds pulled shut. My heart beat was the undertone of the room, steady and calm. My arms were hooked up to tubes, I was tangled up in my health. My clothes were folded up neatly on the chair next to me, calling at me to put them on and go home.

 It almost makes me laugh at how sad everything and usual is. I could probably be a character in one of Charles Bukowski’s poems, an old drunk man falls down once again and ends up in the hospital. I wonder how make times Charles Bukowski went to the hospital, because I’m sure he ended up in the hospital multiple times. I’ve often thought Bukowski and I have much in common, but he has become famous for his failures. I have just lived, and that is my punishment. Living.

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koúkla mou

1.

One day someone will sing a lullaby
when counting sheep does not help
if lullabies don’t help you sleep
a cup of warm milk will be by your bedside

They’ll take pictures of the smiles
that form on your beautiful face
placing them safely in a book
bound in plastic, to last over the years

They’ll mend every broken heart and stubbed toe
placing a band-aid on whatever is hurt

2.

One day koúkla mou
You’ll exist

Pocketing Memories With Pieces of Lint

An implicative memory hangs limply on a coat hanger
Wrap it around my shoulders and move on
I forget it’s there until I remember
When no other words are processing,
I remember.

Compose myself with sips of water
and splashes of reality
Then go back to the class and settle down

Lint balls collect and I pick them off
Feeling guilty for losing the little bits left of you
I pocket them,
and they begin to collect
like the congealing memories

I feel guilty about you becoming a memory
You should be more than pieces of lint
collecting in my pocket

I wrap myself up in the smells of every memory
that I will not let fade away

and all I have is the vague smell of home and
lint balls that remind me of you

Aftertaste of Shame: When Will They Stop the Blame?

A rush comes with anger
With the aftertaste of shame.
I didn’t think this would ever happen to me
And I am not to blame

With the aftertaste of shame
I cover my body, to feel safe
And I am not to blame
Empty streets and long walks home

I cover my body to feel safe
When will they realize I was sober
Empty streets and long walks home
We must remember, we will always remember

When will they realize I was sober
They say I am at fault, but how?
We must remember, we will always remember
We need to take action now.

They say I am at fault, but how?
This shouldn’t happen to anyone
We need to take action now
A rush comes with anger

Passing Break and Shallow Breath

Together they take a breath
The air flows through, but she
chokes and gasps, her breath is shallow.
Can the air be any less bitter?
“Are you okay?” he
mentions in their passing break

They only see one another on their break
She wondered if he held his breath
when they pass each other, he
did. In the fleeting hope she
would become a lesser version of bitter

But that’s a lie, she wasn’t shallow,
just needed to have a bread
from himself. The wind was bitter
against the open lungs “take a breath
and exhale yourself into me” she
sighed. She looked so bright he

was blinded by her. Did he
believe himself to be shallow?
The world they live in she
felt a harmful way of a break
They both need to take a deep breath
and exhale their feelings of bitterness

Their facades have melted into their bitter
truth. “What is the truth?” he
asked. The world is softly taking it’s breath
together they will live in it’s shallow
lungs and swim in it’s bones, break
apart and sink deep down. She

will drown otherwise. With that she
will becomes and stay bitter
There isn’t the time for their break
The world is empty and he
is trying to be not as shallow
when he passes her, he holds his breath

She will break and collapse
under his bitter breath, loves
the shallow intake he provides.

Dictionary poems

We did this fun poetry exercise in my poetic voice class where we would take three words from the dictionary (we started with three adjectives but you can do whatever word you want) then what you do is you write the word and definition down. With that you have to create a poem only using the words in the definition and you use the three words in a title. Get it? It’s really difficult but a lot of fun.

*~*~*~*~*

The elastic feeling of being incapable with the nostalgic longing for you

Easily resume the lacking ability to be stretched
Stretched for the past
Shaped for the bittersweet longing

Being stretched after lacking the necessary past
Longing for being necessary
Easily resume the shape of the past

The bittersweet shape of longing
For the past, the necessary past.

*~*~*~*~*

So the words I got from the dictionary were: Elastic, Incapable and Nostalgic. Then the second one I did just know because I really had fun with the first one. I used the words: Epiphany, Cynical, and Vestige.

*~*~*~*~*

Does the vestige of my epiphany calculate for my cynicism towards us?

Believing a trace of disappearing people by appearance of divine standards
Disregarding only human integrity that is disappearing
Disappearing or no longer existing?

Believing a trace of integrity for one’s own self-interest
Typical appropriate standards are manifestations of no longer existing
Appearance of believing that people are distrustful of being motivated

Concerned only that people are no longer something
Something that disregarded sincerity of one’s own integrity
Accept or disregard a trace of something that longer exists.

Train ride home

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The college student tapped their foot against the cold concrete. It has been a long day and now they had to take a long train ride back home. It was nearing the end of semester 1 and they had a lot of work to do. It was flurrying out and the white snow flakes began to collect on their head. There was a loud screech coming from the tunnel, the train was coming. They pulled their laptop case closer to their body and waited for the train to halt. They felt the odd sensation of falling when the train stopped in front of them but they ignored it and boarded the train.

The ride to their parents house wasn’t that long, 20 maybe 30 minutes. But it was enough time for them to work on a paper that is due on Tuesday. They sat on one seats by the window, and an old lady sat down next to them. She smiled at them and looked away, realizing they did not want to converse. They pulled their laptop out of the case and began to type away about  Mayan medicine. The college student was really interested in the Mayan history, they were so violent but yet so ahead for their time. Not a lot of people took the college course on Mayan history making the class a little bit more intimate, which is always better for the student. They would look up every so often to look out the window, most of the time they would see their reflection because the train was under ground. Their glasses rested on the bridge of their nose, they would push it up and go back to work.

The voice over the intercom would go off every 5 minutes, stopping at each stop. People would get off but no one would ever get on. The numbers of the train dwindled till it was just the college student and a man in his late 30s. The train came to a screeching halt as it came to the college student’s stop. They put their computer back into the case and stood up holding onto the bar for support so they wouldn’t go flying when the train pulled up. The doors swung open and the two people walked out of the train. But no one boarded, which puzzled the college student but they brushed it off and walked out of the train station.

The snow was picking up and the breeze bite at their nose as they walked to their parents house. They had to live with their parents because at the moment they couldn’t afford an apartment. The snow had piled up on the sides of the street and spilled onto the poorly shoveled side walk. Their house wasn’t that far from the train station. They remember when they were kids them and their friends would say they were hanging in town but sneak onto the train and spend the day in the city. Their parents found out a couple times, they were always furious.

They reached their street and noticed a police car parked in their drive way. Naturally they were worried and curious so they began to jog to get to their house. The door was open so they walked in.

“Mom?” they called into the hallways. “Dad?”

Nothing. They walked into the kitchen and saw their parents sitting at the table with a police man. Their father had his arm around their mothers shoulders and she was crying into his chest. His father had a solemn look on his face. They had never seen his father look like that before. The police man was talking softly to the college students parents. His mother gave a deep sob and began to wail.

“Mom…” the college student said, placing their hand on her shoulder.

“He can’t be dead!” she wailed.

“Ma’am I’m sorry to say your son was in the train station when the train lost control before stopping. I am so sorry for your loss.”

“He can’t be dead, he’s just a baby, he just graduated high school,” she wailed again.