The Best Thieves
The best thieves are never heard of, spoken about, written up, or remembered.
They’re unheard of legacies existing largely in the minds of
courageous and misled orphans of crime.
Not greedy or proud, but afflicted and torn
Between the road of Art
& the cul-de-sac called Hell.
Torn Thieves have no empires to build or flags to raise.
Just a conscience to bear,
maybe a diaper to change.
SANDPAPER TONGUE (EPILOGUE)
“It’s not that I dislike children – it’s what they might become. If I had to bear witness to my child’s lack of success I’m not sure I’d be able to handle it. I barely handle my own.”
She laughed, she thought he was being cute. But there was nothing cute about his situation. There was nothing cute about being caught, once again, in the rut trying to keep up, stay sane. He was beyond trying to be witty and he saw nothing admirable or clever about his choice of words or how coolly detached she thought he was. He was not cool and not detached and there was no pose he could stand.
All the armor, all the powder from his make-up had been removed, the streaks of paint had left his soul just slightly bare as if a cotton round dipped in witch hazel had wiped across the face of his soul leaving him cleanly exposed but less raw and agitated. All he could feel now was great remorse for everything he had not accomplished, a peculiar sadness – but not one that could erupt in tears, but rather a frozen gloom that clung to his face like a hockey mask, weighing his temples, the bridge of his nose, and the folds of his chin where all the despair had curled up like a cat preparing to die.
He felt nothing except for the dry sandpaper of his tongue.
The Best Minds of My Generation
Ginsberg wrote: “I saw the best minds
of my generation destroyed by
starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo
in the machin-
ery of night…”
But not me.
I saw the best minds of my generation
resist their true insanity
and give up their imagination to Dead Steam.
The best minds of my generation are writing poems, but not sharing them
The best minds of my generation are not on the picket line, they’re being trampled by them
The best minds of my generation do not want to occupy
The best minds of my generation have a hard time ordering a cup of coffee
The best minds of my generation have no desire to follow idols
The best minds of my generation stay indoors or inside, off-the-grid, or out of bounds
The best minds of my generation are not being supported by grants or parents
The best minds of my generation create unheard symphonies and daydreams that would put a long-gone Maestro to shame
The best minds of my generation can’t seek some spiritual fix cause they are too busy remembering pin codes
The best minds of my generation aren’t interested in owning anything but their own lives
The best minds of my generation are caught between beepers and iPhones
The best minds of my generation mourn for all we already could not accomplish
The best minds of my generation no longer ask Why, but How?
The best minds of my generation realize that a man not offended by anything will stand for nothing
The best minds of my generation know that the pen is mightier than the sword
The best minds of my generation are not lost, they are simply…not found
The best minds of my generation don’t see their own potential & therefore they cease to imagine
The best minds of my generation don’t understand their times because they are not creating them
Instead, we’re willing to become like every other part of the universe and give up our identity –
to join the parade
The best minds of my generation could be beautiful –
If they could only see themselves
If they could only pause
& accept the failed status quo –
Infinitely being hurled at them
With the terror
& grace of a runaway train
& the tremor of the other poet’s great maxim: “The best lack all conviction.”