I’m more among the ash heaps,
Rather than the millionaires;
I am not a Fitzgerald hero,
Though there’s a romance locked inside of me.
Let me be the piles of ash the destitute must live with,
That is much my destiny as anything else;
I will be the soot pervading the land,
The quotidian nuisance.
If I am the ash then it explains the phoenix
Perched on my shoulders,
Massive, protecting, combusting;
I am the phoenix ash.
If this is all I am, that’s enough,
The phoenix within and without
Destroys me, rebuilds me, destroys me
Forever on, until I’m dust
When I bought you, I didn’t know what you’d become;
You were slotted for drab budgeting,
The infernal dollar keeping that quickens my heart;
Something about you changed this fate.
You reminded me of the inferno within,
The parts of my that wish to combust in passion;
(Why could I never let my soul be set aflame?)
You called to the old poet in my soul.
Now you’re decaying;
I knew this would be your fate,
You carry a commercial mark that is no longer you.
You’ve shed the business “Minimalism Art” and have become Austin.
One day your casing will be in tatters,
This faux leather and foam wind-bound;
But I will keep you;
I will mind you as writing in you mends my soul.
I am the dead tree outside,
Still standing despite heavy winds.
The poet from the window piles on his conjectures;
I was supposed to fall six months ago.
Spiting this man, I stand more firm,
Even with decay all about’
This charge proves my obstinance,
That man of flesh knows not those of wood.
My leaveless branches are a sign of demise,
but the situation is also a boon;
My nakedness decreases surface area
So the wind cannot batter me as it does my live kin.
My bull’s head doesn’t make me invincible;
One day the man in the window will be there to hear my fall,
And he’ll think of George Berkeley,
Then continue on with his metaphors.
He predicts my death not as a poet,
but as pseudo-scientist,
I hope, at my demise,
He attends my copse as a poet
Red aluminium can upon the desk,
White scribe line is the graced print;
I become an advertiser through it.
Key chain reps a galaxy far far away,
From shirt to shoes, I represent the capitalist.
I am the walking billboard for the masses.
What if I advertised myself,
The books most vital to my soul etched into skin,
Dialogues of Plato tableau-depicted on my back?
I’d become the amalgam of ideas,
No closer to representing myself,
Still advertising the other.
To advertise myself, I must be bare,
Empty of all branded clothes,
(How the steer snarls when branded! )
Empty of all branded ideas.
Oh capitalism, my birthright,
Wouldn’t it be better
If I didn’t have to advertise at all?
I am the young tree of all forests,
Dwarfed by the chorus of delicate wooden mammoths,
Hindered from growth by the expanse of their canopy,
Shaded by an uncaring Elder.
My siblings are a multitude,
And relentless, they grow upward.
Some have become behemoths themselves,
But most are like me.
These behemoth brethren befuddle me.
Their maturation secures status quo
By denying their siblings’ destiny
But I’m stuck under their canopy.
I can’t move,
Nor is there upward mobility,
That is, not without permission.
When the Earth shrugs the titans topple;
They are reckless in their demise,
Thunderous in their death,
Unless no one is around to hear them.
In the void left behind, I must fight my ilk;
Only one of us may receive Ra’s blessing,
The rest will remain dwarfed
Until the victor, once again, falls.
THus is our cycle of life and death,
unfurling our leaves early into spring to catch sun
Before we are descended into darkness by our elders;
When they fall, we can’t grow in concert.
So we must race one another.
The ghost of myself in the mirror;
It’s a phantom,
And it can’t contain my mind,
Not my spirit,
Nor my indelible memories.
But still this figure glares;
Sizing up the corporeal counterpart,
as if usurp-planning,
As if it’ll one day wear this skin
And still the memory.
This is the haunted figure,
There, but not actually
It is me, but just an abstraction;
If you laid eyes on us,
We’d be identical
The figure haunts me so;
It is a ghast, an abomination of self,
A being of multi-dimensions shredded into two,
A chimera in perfect disguise;
Who couldn’t be me because I’m me.
But to anyone else, what’s the difference?
I am you,
You, who is before this page,
you, with those dreams:
I am you
And you are me;
These words are yours
And they are written for you
No other distinction matters.
I stand between two trees:
One live, on dead;
One verdant, one vivisected by wind and
Riddled with disease.
I want it to be a symbol of
Man’s struggle to live
While in a perpetual state of dying,
But this is a clumsy metaphor;
The live tree is dying too.