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I Guess Ya Had to Be There.

by V. Blake

you said,
"the best thinking you'll ever do,
you'll do on tiled floors."

but then you went and died, didn't ya?
knee-deep in aphorisms
and burnt-up origami cigarettes;
contorted, and crucified by silverware
on your favorite booth table
in that swan-dive of an all-hours diner.

and i bet you were writing at the very moment
that your whiplashed little soul decided
it was gonna blow this town without ya.

just look at you now:
corpse of a suit that don't fit,
and never did.

eyes wide without spark and limbs hung low
on a suicide note for a man who never lived--
some witless fuckin' diatribe
'bout how you can't be bothered to describe
the greatest prank you ever pulled on god.

and somebody, somewhere
was failing a rorschach test with answers like
"a fallen angel chained to a jukebox," and
"Tom Waits throwin' dice with the devil."

and the rest of us,
well, we ain't goin' to your funeral.
ya told us how life was this great inside joke
and ya didn't stick around to explain it.

now we all gotta sit here
on these goddamn freezing dirty tiles,
and try to figure shit out for ourselves.

we miss you, ya fuckin' asshole.


Author's Note: I can't top this.

Posted on 11/30/2009
Copyright © 2023 V. Blake

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Charlie Morgan on 11/30/09 at 03:32 PM

...ahhh, okay. but do you have some strong feelings?...diatribe, yeahhhh. sometimes we just gotta...i don't know who died, but the joke is: it is all a joke, from pooping our pants to kissing to that finer than fine job, even my grandson Kai is a figment of my imagination.

Posted by Nanette Bellman on 11/30/09 at 08:42 PM

So tiled floors is the secret eh? I always thought cold cement basement floors were my things. I will definetly try that out. This is proof enough.

Posted by Jason Moskalyk on 03/31/10 at 06:43 AM

Good bro-mance poem. I'd be righteously pissed too. thanks for the write.

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 09/25/10 at 05:25 AM

holy $#%@. dude, this is amazing. put this directly in your library so more people can see this. wow... just wow.

Posted by D. James McKee on 10/06/10 at 09:36 AM

You work the landscape of the soul, like Rembrandt worked a canvass... very nice indeed!

Posted by Therese Elaine on 10/07/10 at 04:37 AM

A cold shower on a cemetery slab, no one knows how to dance to your music, no one remembers the words to your song -all they remember is that you were never the designated driver, you never apologized for being habitually late, and you never paid them back for that one time they bought breakfast for you at the wafflehouse, swearing you'd get them back next time...it was always next time with you...until next time, was the last time, and you forget to send out the engraved invitations...

Posted by Paul Lastovica on 10/08/10 at 03:08 AM

everyone's got that one odd duck friend. May the one i think of for this never depart ahead of schedule.

Posted by Ava Blu on 10/08/10 at 02:59 PM

I see why this is your favorite. It's got everything to make one do a double-take, spit out their whiskey and poke wounds with their own tongue. There are a ton of fantastic lines in this that I love. The only criticism I have involves your last line; it feels like it should be an author's note instead. I think that last stanza is the perfect ending. Other than that tiny thing, this is remarkable.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 10/08/10 at 04:22 PM

Pretty dang good. Sorry I missed it the first time. I can sense a bit of Gabriel Ricard's influence here, in terms of biting sarcasm and humour, but still quite unique. Kudos Vince!

Posted by Anita Mac on 10/08/10 at 11:01 PM

I agree with Ava, the last line does feel more like an author's note. I don't know how a missed this, it's brilliant and heart-wrenching and boldly honest. Some of the greatest lines I've ever read are in here. You're wonderful and here's proof.

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 10/09/10 at 01:01 AM

No mysteries here. This is a ferocious, brilliant piece of work, sir, and if there's any justice in the minor scheme of things this thing will be number for a long, long time. Never mind how many bullets it takes. Phenomenal.

Posted by JD Clay on 10/10/10 at 12:28 AM

You are an expert at drawing the reader in, Vince, but it doesn’t stop there. You go on to reveal an expansive metaphoric journey that quakes our ground and blows the blue from our sky. Someone once asked me what makes good poetry great. It’s explosive yet profound last lines like this. But the entire poem is exquisite! Tone and trope wrapped in grief, and then tied securely with emotions bow. BLAM!

Posted by Steve Michaels on 10/11/10 at 12:20 AM

"about why you couldn't be bothered to describe the greatest prank you ever pulled on God." I love that!

Posted by Laura Doom on 10/13/10 at 11:11 PM

How could I not like this? Might have to steal it for my eulogy :) The 'Rorschach test' stanza is the most entertaining aside I've met for many moods.

Posted by Carolyn Coville on 08/14/11 at 06:40 AM

I appreciate your raw, honest feelings in this piece. Nice work!

Posted by Gilly Wigley on 10/06/11 at 07:42 PM

This is fantastic!

Posted by Kris Mara on 02/08/13 at 05:36 PM

Amazing. I'm probably repeating what's already been said, but man, this is just so full and vivid and real/raw, incredible...there's so much here...written so efficiently and effectively -- this is one that's read with the soul (if that makes any sense at all).

Posted by Robbi Skaera on 07/10/18 at 09:27 PM

... I really like this. It's close to home. But I rate this very highly.

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