as a car on a banked oval
going over and over the same ground;
fast as the slide
at the amusement park
that drops you into water
so quickly you at once want
to do it again;
fast as the fatal words
falling from your stunned lips
into the face of your traitor boss;
that is how fast it will happen
when you reach the point
of breaking again
in the same place you broke last time
in the afterglow of the failure,
you come to see how awe-inspiring it is
to fail so well. You are an expert, after all,
at the craft. An inspiration
to future failures
who will look to you
that’s how it is done.
And that makes you a success at something,
you fast speaker, fast in the grip
of blurt and impulse.
Did you know there are people
who would kill to be like that?
They imagine, of course,
that it will work out well for them —
which it might.
And you ponder that for a long time,
racing through the possibilities.
It is possible
that you are no failure,
but a genius of the moment.
It is possible that speed
is your violin
and you are Paganinni,
it is your guitar and you are
the Vai of the retort and the Hendrix
of the sudden move.
It is possible
that every move you’ve made
that dumped you, every spin
on the track after a hard charge,
every splashdown into bitter chlorine
was a masterpiece of the art
of playing a bad hand.
That it hasn’t always worked out
may be as much an illusion
as what would come from reasoned thought
and measured speech,
but that is something
you’d like to know for sure,
as fast as you can.
Tags: poems, poetry, meditations