The Shame Of Things To Come

Today is January 11
and I woke up before 6
with little to do but
accept that I’m not a man

I know it’s not true 
and that even the words
“I’m not a man” are suspect
and reek of Whitestench

except that when I look at
myself and all the failures
that even I call failures
it’s hard to argue that the ‘Stench

is just covering up a good person
instead of adding its flavor to 
the general reek of my 
utter incompetence at being alive

I mean of course I’m breathing and
excreting and God knows I eat
but how will I escape the way
I fail to prosper and no

it’s not just the lack of money
it’s the utter insignificance of 
my work when I think I’m 
doing so well and it’s brushed aside

without so much as a thought
It’s the reduction of my once-keen edge
to a pinprick the barely draws blood
It’s the shame of slowly recognizing

the mistakes and looming disasters
have not gone away overnight
as they rise to the top like old bodies
in the pool of darkness in my brain

as I wake up daily before six
slightly happy until I see them
and drag myself out of bed into
the cloud of chores that each day brings

And at last it’s the knowledge
that in a better world built
without Whitestench or Manstench
or Moneystench it might have been 

different but in the long run
I’m here now on January 11
already up and regardless of society
it’s still my fault that I was and am unable

to get away from all that smell
breathe some fresh air 
take one deep breath and plunge
back in to do what I can and must do

on January 12 and beyond

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

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