Gray mist yawns on my shoulder;
lifts, stretches, seeps into my eyes.
It expects me not to complain,
but I say, Not today. Please, not today.
But it doesn’t go away.
Now my head feels like a dead imagination;
thoughtless as a cloud, drowned worms in a puddle.
Every word I’ve ever written doesn’t like me.
I place my head in my hands
and start to worry:
She could walk in, at any second,
and see me as I really am—
a heap of gray; a river of colors
draining down the sewer.
It isn’t her fault…
It isn’t her fault
that our hearts fell from their cage
or that something like god
pulled broken the strings.
Now it’s tar and tears, a new pavement
over the old road we drove:
intersections, car crashes;
dead love merging with the moonlight.
Those memories we made
now a bitter lick of blood,
falling from the edge of yesterday…
into a widening pool.
I hope it will end soon—
I prefer silence when thinking of you.
What kinds of pretty pictures do all you people want him to paint? What truths: The trials and tribulations of a struggling artist? Take home messages about true love? Our place in the universe? Fuck that. For that, see the philosopher. Angels don’t dwell on the poet’s shoulder. They shove him out the door with a bottle of whiskey and say, “We don’t believe in you. Good luck.”
Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He currently lives near the Great Smoky Mountains. Of his many jobs, the most interesting were elevator operator, rock drummer, bird bander, graphic designer, and botanist. His poems have appeared in Decompression, Thick with Conviction, Liquid Imagination, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Every Day Poets, and Sein und Werden, among others. Sturner has also published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com