because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

ember & ash

now the city’s once-poets,
rock-chained and rail-thin,
spout river rust
and rain-washed chalk
plans for overtight epics,
kick
back with
dinnertime gigs
and dimestore glories picking the dead
bits off mediocrity-ridden skin,
become suburban and
enamored
of cheap tequila
Tuesdays that can’t quite erase
the foregone diagnosis
of cancer where
it
hurts the
most. hearthfire
wasn’t sacred
before it existed;
where is your
Prometheus
now?

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17 responses

  1. wow. this is an honest poem. thanks.

    May 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm

  2. dang…guess its all senseless then…nah i’ll keep spitting rust…heavy feel to this one…

    May 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  3. The heyday is gone but this leaves me wondering what cancer, which cancer could affect a group of writers? Did they lose the gift/calling? Cancer can’t be predicted, an unwarranted affliction…

    Yet the mediocrity ridden skin, could it be on/about their work if that is/were the case, at least they had some glory days…(pondering)

    I got lost with the statement about hearthfire though…what could it be for a group of poets? And then I thought about the old guard and the way they feel about form/how things ought to be, should be and never wanting to open doors for others, looking down on others though they have stopped being productive, creatively so either :)

    a rant indeed, I read anger and distaste…

    An interesting piece…

    Heyday-mediocrity-cancer-hearthfire-then a titan (a derisive last shot, as if you were slinging an arrow)(asking about a saviour or a commentary on whether their ways can salvage present state?) but I wonder…
    Interesting indeed! Nice reading you as always!

    L.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    • wow. thanks for your thoughtful reading. :) i think you may have put more into the interpretation than i did in writing it. i’ve always been one for personal meanings in poetry… just like your elementary teachers taught you, there is no one right answer… :)

      peace,
      –jsl

      May 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

  4. I quite like “foregone diagnosis…where it hurts the most.” And the photo! What a great photo. thanks for these –

    PG

    May 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    • Thanks, P. The photo took some thought.

      May 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

  5. Ouch. This does hurt, the way a brutal, brilliantly written poem should.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

  6. Your mention of Prometheus, given the poetic context established in your opening, I think invites a re-evaluation of poetry. From Greek tragedy to Goethe and Shelley, etc… the figure reps. a traditional source of literary inspiration. “Rock-chained” leads me to believe the Titan bound again—in a sick decaying environment. Outstanding wordplay involving pollution and corruption.

    May 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    • creative pollution, yes. there seems a sad bit of it floating around in the river here these days. thanks for stopping by, as ever.

      –jsl

      May 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

  7. I’m impressed enough to read more of your work. I wouldn’t presume to ask what you meant but on some level I understand this – the writers who meet, who start young, who opt out of bohemia for suburbia, where mediocrity sets in and that acceptance grows complacent or worse cliche. It grows to the point that the writer loses his/her way back to the origins,and the originality. At least that’s what it was to me. Your photographs – equally intriguing. I am happy to have hosted today and found your blog. Thank you, Gay

    May 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    • forgive my late reply to your kind words– between being sick, visiting family and putting together a local reading things have kinda gotten out of hand this past week. Your words are close enough to the mark to count in my book. :) This is one of the best parts about the OneShot– all the new writer gems one can come across each week. Thank you for hosting!

      May 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

  8. Provoking piece ~ I enjoyed the final reference to “Prometheus”, cleverly orchestrated ~ Rose

    May 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm

  9. wow, this was pretty intense…

    i feel kind of weird even commenting on this one. i’m thinking you might not want dimestore glories from me, lol

    nicely done.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:45 pm

  10. I like the Prometheus end, I’m a Prometheus girl, it’s one of my favorite from Greek mythology. If he once gave the fire to the mortals and blessed them with it, why not again. That’s of course the helpless optimist in me talking.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:49 am

  11. Wonderful poem (even more so because I love mythology) :)

    May 17, 2011 at 6:18 am

  12. Catie, brian, lizzi– there is a little bit of almost-brutal “ouch” to this one. glad it pricked you just a little.

    Sparkles, Estrella, Rose– knew there were some mythology buffs out there who’d like that ending. :)

    Cheers, all! (better late than never)
    –jsl

    May 17, 2011 at 11:51 am

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