I’m up at four-thirty
cracked like dawn
trying to write
but there are cats here
and they want food and
a clean shitter and above all
for me to stop using them
as a source of excuses
for not writing
I have to go bathe my father
which is no excuse
I have to go feed my mother
which is no excuse
My feet on fire and
my left hand frozen numb
with neuropathy
Pain that goes from
nagging to screaming
that it’s not an excuse
The drugs that ease the pain
slow me and dull me at the same time
but that is no excuse
My broke timid ass overwhelmed
with all the doom within and around me
to the point of disgust and saturation
with my lack of excuses
The siren songs of bullshit self-care
are no excuse to step away
from the cliff
I need to fall over to land on
an enemy below
and even as I burn out
and fall dead while crushing them
snuffing them out
they look up saying
You are killing me and killing yourself
and those are not excuses
for not writing a poem today
Feed the cats shithead
Take the drugs shithead
Kill the billionaires shithead
Whether you live miserably or die happy
you truly have just one real job
Write that goddamn poem
or all this will be worth
exactly as much
as you are
which is
that’s all

Chastened thus
I suffer and bend to
the task

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

2 responses to “Shithead

  • Eileen

    It seems inappropriate to click “like” on this. Somedays, putting one foot in front of the other is too much. Hope writing this was at least a little cathartic for you. At some points life is simply shitty all on its own with no relief in sight. I’m sure you feel like an inchworm with miles to go before relief. Living in the present moment is extremely hard for some of us, but it’s the only way to survive sometimes.
    Praying for great gobs of grace for you.

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