Friday, November 15, 2013

Testing For The Role

Typhoon Haiyan makes landfall in the Philippines.

You're the Philippines,
I'm some ugly mad typhoon.
Your heart's left for drowned,
drenched past all recall
and I crawl over you, go
somewhere else, new days.

It's payback, that's what.

As I blow me down I wheeze,
I whistle and hawk
up love like sputum
while I trim off my white beard
shaving back to three,
the razor's setting
I chose years ago waiting
all this time for you.

November 15, 2013 1:38 AM

Sometimes my poetry is a role play. I am not hard enough to actually be this guy, I hope. I would like to think I could have played him as a character.

I started my college education majoring in drama but I was not brave enough to persist in that degree track. There were too many pressures and obligations and the politics of the time as well. All conspired to sidetrack me and I did go crazy. Yes, I did. Not smallest in all that was an Army Reserve gig I was burdened with. Finally I just quit the Army, could not take it one more day. That's crazy, yes it is.

Starting in 1966, I began smoking dope and dropping acid and thought of my behavior as acting out of revolution. Many of us thought like that in 1966. I still think that pose was probably true enough but not very effective. After a few months I was lifted out of a death spiral (this is no shit and the lifting out included four months at a place called Alum Rock Hospital) and exiled to East Bengal for a couple years so I could run out the military clock, which I did. When I returned to California with an Honorable Discharge (also no shit), the politics at college had gotten more serious and I was happy to join up with that too. After all that my major had morphed into a mix of Philosophy and Psychology and I had Sociology electives.

When I got fired from my drug dealing gig in 1971, how I financed everything, I left school, found a lover and eventually emigrated from California to Oregon. I started college in 1963. I left school in 1971 with about a year's worth of full time classwork left to do. What happened, I finally restarted my college work in 1979 and got my BA in 1981 while holding down a day job. I sat at home getting drunk evening after evening, writing up a thing called a Prior Learning Experience Portfolio. In that document I asked for and received 28 credits in Philosophy and Psychology for work I did in those fields outside of school. I did that work drunk too. Telling you how I got my degree, I may have also qualified myself as an alcoholic. I finally sobered up in 1983. That's a while ago, I guess.


  1. Thirty years clean, dry and in recovery; now that's a real success story.

    1. It's a classic in AA:

      Q-How do you get to be an old-timer?
      A-You don't drink and don't die.

      The trouble with long term sobriety is that generally you get old.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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