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LIFE (a teenager’s lament)

by Chris Sorrenti

My heart swells in pain
When I see my friends and relatives
Changing, dying, moving
As life goes on its merry way

God, you are the one who started this chain reaction
And I hate yet love you for doing it
As my friends heighten
And old people fall six feet
When or where will it end?
I ask you as I listen to my transistor radio
And the crickets outside my window
On a warm summer’s night

A short while ago I was nine years old
Not a care in the world
Now I’m sixteen in four
Time has moved too fast for me
To comprehend your universal goal

At night I’m too tired
To feel guilty about the girls
I make love to in my wet dreams
Yet all my life is not fantasy
And reality is only a short step away
The skyscrapers reaching for congested skies
Speeding towards destruction
From the bombers in sheep’s clothing

I am a man wanting to be known
In a world I somehow hate
In a country I love
Yet I have seen how quickly people are forgotten
In the dimensions of my universe
Just the other day I read of little Milton
Who dared to stand up and tell of the evils of the world
The next day he was thrown to the psychoanalysts
To be torn apart by those who cannot look truth
Straight in the eye

They don’t need acid trips
Just low meat prices for reality to be real once again
Or just laugh it off with a bottle of Coke
That’ll go up five cents next week

There’s got to be a morning after
And this is true because of the sun in the east
But even the sun is not forever
So mankind must change because there is still a little time left

Man, you are more stone age than ever
Since God has left you to yourself
So go ahead and ruin yourself with your shiny 747s
Because talking to you is like trying to knock sense
Into a brick wall

Satan, wherever you are, I know you are happy
Well even though man is ruining himself
He can still put a rewind on what’s been done

I am a soldier in the army of the new generation
Inheritors of our parents’ abuse
Bound together by electric fallout
We must not sit and close our eyes to the crumbling ecology
That will soon be ours

The revolution must grow until our cause has been satisfied
And it will
Because I have faith in myself, my friends and anyone else
Who fights for what we lost so long ago in the Garden of Eden

© June 23rd, 1973

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Author's Note: This was the first serious poem I ever wrote. I had written poems in elementary school as class assignments, but most were disasters. As I would discover later, mainly due to the fact I can’t write on demand. I hated poetry as a result, though loved listening to the lyrics of songs on the radio, where my true inspiration to write poetry would eventually come from. There was one gem though. In 1966 (age 9), on my own, I penned a short 2 verse lyric called the Wolfman Song. I was obsessed with monsters at the time. The song and monster within it, a harbinger of things to come. The poem Life is essentially me putting my feelings on paper for the first time, but in stanzas. I would describe it more as prose, but in time realized it was a little bit of both. I would later coin the term “prosetry,” to describe this kind of writing. It’s a style I have continued using, with slight variations, for the last 40 years. In hindsight, Life, is admittedly...embarrassingly immature, and quite dark, with some images put in for shock value, but the inspiration and interpretations of the 15 year old who wrote them are honestly expressed. Aside from adding the words, “a teenager’s lament,” to the title, there has purposely been little if any revision done to it over the years. In writing the poem, it felt like an incredible weight had been taken off my shoulders, and from that point on, there was no turning back.

Posted on 06/23/2013
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by George Hoerner on 06/24/13 at 11:32 AM

Well done Chris! I wish I had your faith in mankind. I see is as being something like U325. You can have a small ball in your right and one in your left hand. If you put them together and start a chain reaction you may not be able to get them apart again. This was actually done under the city of Chicago during the "Manhattan" project. Obviously the professor was able to pull the pieces apart and this was before the knew about the cancer causing side of radiation.

Posted by Rob Littler on 06/25/13 at 05:23 AM

"Now I'm sixteen in four...." Yes, there is a lifetime between years...and moments. This weight you speak of being lifted--instantly I am taken back. Voice. Ideas. I imagine myself at 3 years old when you wrote your piece. Ten in 1980 is different than twenty-three. Thanks for bending time for us all.

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