It’s So Hard To Be A Surrealist These Days

It’s so hard to be
a surrealist these days.
For example,

I found myself hanging
upside down outdoors above
a vat of clear liquid.
There was no clue 
as to who
might have been
responsible.

Said to myself, “Gee,
it doesn’t look dangerous,
smells fine, no fire below it,
I don’t see any cooking utensils,
kinda spooky that I’m
hanging here alone 
trussed up like a rug
but all in all, I’ve certainly felt
more threatened
in my life,”

and then to me of course there came
all the obvious references
of failed love and broken threads
among family born and found
and how I have hanged myself
through neglect and anger and how
I must now reach out to save myself. 

The branch holding me
started breaking a little. I was suddenly
a little nervous as
I was running out of metaphors
I might use to keep from drowning
when it failed at last.  Poetry
has its benefits but 
when you’re going to drown,
you’re going to drown.  So,

looking down at the vat, 
wondering why no one was around,
I prepared my last words
though none would hear them,
it still seemed a good idea to scream,

“HEY, HELP!  HELP!!!  
I’M FALLING HERE,
GONNA DROWN,
HELP, HELP!!! THE SILVER
CHALICE BELOW SHALL TAKE ME!
THERE MAY BE LOBSTERS!
HELP, HELP HELP!!!!”

There were no lobsters, dammit.
(Or, alternately, thank God.)
When I fell at last, the pool was so shallow
I flailed about until I was out of it
and managed to loose myself from bondage 
and got away and came here, to this bar.

You ask me, who tied me up?
Let me tell you this: it’s so hard to be
a surrealist these days,

I decided not to pursue the mystery.  
Chances are it was nothing poetic
and probably had to do with unpaid debts
or a gang thing.  It’s always a gang thing,
right?  Unless maybe
I was suspended there for no more reason
than to prompt a poem.  That would be
cool. It’s so hard to be a surrealist these days
that every little bit
helps. This bar helps.  You’re helping
just by listening.

We are in this world together
and I’m tired of it trying to make sense.
If the lobsters can’t derange us,
random acts of meaningless violence 
will have to do. 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “It’s So Hard To Be A Surrealist These Days

  • leamuse

    Random acts of meaningless violence don’t do it for me. When my surrealism factor begins to lag, a day trip to Figueres, birthplace of Dali, will certainly restore me. However, I did enjoy the images of the lobsters lying in wait. Well done!

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