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A Walk On The Wild Side

by Scott Utley


A great mystic once told me there is a place on the other side of my mind
where I can touch heaven if I devoutly wish to go there. I haven't made the trip
yet, so I can't verify the great mystic's words, but in my heart of hearts
I believe such a miraculous place must surely exist. I trust great mystics as
far as great mystics go, but it wasn't until I met a blue fairy who said,
"Yes indeed, the great mystic was telling you the truth.",
that I began to believe in heaven. God knows blue fairies never lie.
They've been known to embellish the truth, they love to paint stories
with invisible ink, but they never lie. Now, I know what you're thinking,
"Have you been there yet?" Well, I'm embarrassed to say, "No.”,
but I have more than one good excuse. I’ve been busy sowing oats,
kicking back, working my fingers to the bones, climbing the ladder to
excess, tripping out, skimming stones, reading between the lines,
raising a child, actually a dog, a hog, my reason for being, acting wild,
looking for love, hating the glove, riding out this storm tonight,
saving face, saying grace, just being me, searching the sea,
fighting for freedom, erasing my past, running too fast on second rate gas,
doing anything, nothing, pretending to be, refusing to see. You don’t believe me?
That makes me sad. You don'’t want me mad. See? See? Now are you glad? The real reason
I haven’t been to Peace, for Peace is what the other side of my mind is
called according to the soul almanac, the blue fairy, and a great mystic is,
because to get there, I would have to walk through a forest of shadows and anyway,
I don’'t know the way, and it’'s cold today. It'’s much too hot. I’'d rather rot.
I don’'t have time. I'm trapped in a rhyme. The Truth? The truth?
I can't handle the truth! Besides, I have never really wanted to go.
I've an important date. I'’m far too late. Call it fate. I promised a friend,
and my mother and sister, parole officer, neighbor, the guy on the corner,
the masses, molasses, Sammy, June, Mary and May, the prowler hiding here in my room
that this is the time I know it'’s for real. Big deal! I steal. I lie. I suck. So what? Call me a snake or a jerk or a frigging heel.
I should wax the car or travel real far, hitch a ride on a shooting star, paint my toe nails simply blue. What's bugging you? Something smells?
Well, it can't be me so it must be you. Oh fuck off and die or go to hell! I wish you well! Why God, why?
After you croak I'll have a coke, then take out the garbage or study religion,
crucify you or him or maybe me, sip some tea, find the time, perhaps be kind, unwind, unwind,
gain some weight, stretch a buck, stop smoking, start smoking, keep choking,
sing in a band, make a stand, shoot the moon, come home soon, jump into a frying pan,
morph into a manly man, take a nap, run in circles. And ... well ... it scares me to think
what I might find in the forest of shadows. Who would pick me up off the ground
should I stumble, or God forbid, should I take a nasty fall? NO! I don't want help.
Now, right now, I want it all! If I give you dime you promise you'll call?
You promise, you promise, you promise you'll call? Here, take it all.
Who would hold me tight in their loving embrace should my last breath come and go?
Do you know? I'’m weak! That's low. I know. So? I suppose some journeys can’'t be shared.
That'’s the real reason why I'm so afraid. It's because I'm scared. I'’m full of fear. I'm truly scared.


08/17/2006

Author's Note: Edited: First pass: January 27, 2010
Encino, CA.

Posted on 08/18/2006
Copyright © 2019 Scott Utley

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Karl Waldbauer on 09/09/06 at 06:51 AM

As I read this I saw you peel yourself like an onion, revealing layers tossed aside and layers yet to be examined. Nice writing, Scott.

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