For all lonely poets
There are places where people go to hide from others, but mostly from themselves. The invading world still beckons, surrounded by the incessant noise of civilized chaos. You can run, but you cannot collide. A cyclical anarchy, bouncing off the resilience of an indomitable spirit, overcoming all fears. The local bar was always a good place to hide that big old noggin full of lint. A clap of a cue ball crashes, rolling over a landscape of green felt. Souls lost without poetic license, broken, bent and withered without license or reprieve for the laws of insensitive imaginary gods. But which god will do? The merciful and loving kind? Or an avenger, all-powerful? Charles Bukowski wrote: “I was settled in nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. That didn’t make an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was just a soft, misty space to live in and be left alone.
A place where the past never passes. The future phone, in tandem with awkward present moments. Hidden in the limbo of a shabby room. Those holes in the wall of your skull. The tiny window lets in a muted ray of purgatory light. Never knowing if it’s day or night. Maybe a TV, on the fritz, blurry like the static thought shared with yourself. A constant irreparable mess. Like the lonely dark bar, so peaceful and quiet at all times. Alone, not lonely. A perfect cue break sends them hitting on a roll into the pockets of the black hole pool, never to be seen again. It’s not so simple but an easy exit, without destination, without direction or completely unknown. Where you want to be, right now. All bets are off, so to speak.
Take your best shot of the love mug. A fancy bank move. Yet even in the darkest bars, places that were once cozy hideouts are rare. Those still standing have lost their appeal. Perhaps because of the strict anti-smoking laws, as well as the high cost of sitting down and drinking. The rule of law is not the last word. There is an emptiness of silences between these spaces where time has stopped. The din of modern times invades even the most clandestine hiding places. In my experience, bars and poets go naturally together, like toast and butter, without all the jelly.
There is a word to describe this feeling. It is a fantasy, apanthropinization. A rare word in the lexicon of pretentious puns. It defines the act of withdrawing from modern society and humanity. Stress, confusion, and restlessness create great anxiety that manifests in sensitive people, such as poets and artists. Thus, apanthropinization is hard to swallow. The origin stems from a primal desire to covet basic beauty. The order of the natural world. Not to shut everything out and become a hermit, or sequester in a dark place out of bitterness or anger, although there is enough for everyone. But, instead, withdraws into the inner realms, captivated by poise, admiration and reverence for all things, beautiful or ugly. A dark romantic symmetry out of whack. This sublime derangement of the senses. Divine madness in a feverish dream machine. Only time reveals what happens when we step beyond the real. This ideal reality deconstructed, unscrewed to expose the truest self. Caught off guard, the naked truth with a note of love, the thrill of shining.
What makes the poet a loner painting a picture of innumerable words? Without all the pontificating and egocentric justice, down to the bare bones of creation. Trying to make sense of an absurd speech. No statement reveals more than the act of making something out of nothing. In order not to lead or follow the pack, a lone wolf must hunt or starve. There are so many types of poets and poetry. Academy poets have no idea of street poets, just as the rich have no idea of the poor. It’s a frayed tightrope walk to cross. The endless sky above, the unforgiving ground below, there’s only one way to go. Go alone or follow the leader. There is no greater authority than freedom of choice. This is your last call. To burn alive, a hot coal, waiting to become a diamond.