{ pathetic.org }
 

Judgments and Verdicts (w/ Gabriel Ricard)

by Anita Mac

-Twenty-seven alarm clocks in these walls.
It’s a good life. It’s a godsend with a breakfast buffet
that all of them rarely sing at the same nondescript midnight.

-I paid a lot for this life. Seven dimes here. A few hundred dollars
worth of travel accessories and season passes there. It added up quickly.
No one died, but I’m alone with thousands of new friends all the same.

-It’s a good life. For a better one,
I look for you at the bottom of the stairs all the time.

Maybe someday, but you know what they say,
life and when it happens.
It's a lot of pressure for the lonely, someone else's
better life.

I'm still scraping away at this damn ceiling here
trying for my own.
All it's going to cost is my living warmth,
maybe some broken nails and bloody knuckles,
and what good will I be to you then?

-I make my own judgment calls. I can tie my own shoes,
escape from ambulances in mid-religious conversation,
and choose to break down crying at any countdown
of all the terrible things I’ve done this past decade.

-You need to keep this in mind. I’m coming up the street
to your building because it’s necessary to my well-being.
It’s not a question of giving up stealing other people’s laundry,
in order to try and tell you one more time how I feel about things.

-Not a single one of these seventy-five footsteps
to your burn notice front door contains a single one
of the nine thousand elements that makes up doubt.

-I paid a lot for this life. I chose to.

I suppose I could continue to pretend
there’s a one-way street here;
it’s the expected reaction of
Girls-Like-Me
everywhere.

If you can forgive my deceptive strength
and the way I never use it
behind closed doors,
I can deal with second-hand smoke
and gritty wax of the poetic variety
from a man almost, but not quite entirely broken.

If you let me break on you
again and again,
I will take you into me and hold you at
‘almost’.

If I let you in, I might collapse,
just lock the door behind you.

-It gets weird from here.
It gets back to expectations.
It gets back to things that are confusing,
even infuriating to those of us who love
our tropes like the brothers and sisters
of that one great winter from our best compilation
of the old days.

-I will spend all types of time with you.
I will learn between dreams and getting fat.
I will be fearless,
particularly when it’s not convenient to be that way.

-And I will trust you to love me,
even when you can barely stand the arguments.

01/26/2016

Author's Note: Writers block and rust stand no chance against Mr. Ricard, though I'm struggling more than ever to keep up now.

Posted on 01/27/2016
Copyright © 2023 Anita Mac

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 01/27/16 at 03:36 AM

This was absolutely brilliant fun from start to finish. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 01/27/16 at 02:54 PM

Nice collaboration guys. A lot of cerebral food to chew on here. I especially like these lines: It’s not a question of giving up stealing other people’s laundry, in order to try and tell you one more time how I feel about things.

Posted by Rob Littler on 01/27/16 at 05:58 PM

seems so...familiar, but brighter

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/27/16 at 06:54 PM

I've missed these collaborations. Good to read both of you again.

Posted by Ame Ai on 01/31/16 at 03:55 PM

I can relate to this line: "No one died, but I’m alone with thousands of new friends all the same."

Posted by Paul Lastovica on 02/01/16 at 01:10 AM

Works like this are why I stick around this joint :) Good to see you two going at it line-for-line.

Posted by Richard Vince on 02/07/16 at 11:24 PM

so much exquisite discomfort; a perfect and beautiful evocation of that nagging feeling that one should be elsewhere. "one great winter from our best compilation / of the old days" is a wonderful image: makes me think of photos of trolleybuses struggling through the harsh snows of the winter of 1962-3.

Return to the Previous Page
 

pathetic.org Version 7.3.2 May 2004 Terms and Conditions of Use 0 member(s) and 2 visitor(s) online
All works Copyright © 2023 their respective authors. Page Generated In 0 Second(s)