Found fragments: stray poem

partial pack rat motherlode

partial pack rat motherlode

I’m a pack rat. I save way too many things. Sometimes, I look at some of what has been saved. Sometimes, what I see again for the first time after a long time grabs my attention. So, sometimes, I share these found fragments.

Here’s one I can recall writing after seeing my cousin, Will T. Massey, in those heady days of his ascending popularity before breaking nationally. This was back in the day of ubiquitous smoking in music venues, and Will, still young, lit up a cigarette on the stage of the Cactus Cafe. Someone said he ought to quit smoking. His response started me thinking, and I wrote this later that same night — never to return to complete or revise it.

untitled —for Will from the Cactus Cafe, late 80’s

you said everybody ought to have a fatal habit
to keep in touch with death.
well, maybe so, I don’t know,
I just know that each breath I take
is no mistake and I ain’t ready to go.
don’t push me now
and I’ll tell you how
I’ve come to cling to life.

used to be I was wild and free
taking every chance there was.
running around from town to town
never making or owing much to anyone
and everyone was my best friend —
laughing and loving.
not pushing and shoving,
just making damned sure to grab it.

but then a good friend died
and then another
and I watched old buddies fade from my sight.
I started to wonder what dragged them under,
this darkness that exceeded the night.
and I started to wonder why not me?
I could’ve been gone in a second.

Parts of it still speak strongly to me. Parts make me wince. Poetry flowed through me like a constant stream when I was young. This piece, written many years later, still displayed some of that old bubbling exuberance, now filtered through increasingly cynical eyes of a disillusioned dreamer.

Now, I hardly write poetry at all. My words come haltingly and I have no drive to put much polish on my few poetic attempts. Oh, I still work my word play into daily life, through both off-line quipping and online banter.

Or a blathering blog entry like this one. Thanks for dropping by the ol’ Back Porch again.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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