From the Archive. Reposting after many tweaks.

A Poet In His Early Twenties


Walking aimlessly in worn-out rubber sandals,

four year’s old loose denim jeans, 

and a dirty flannel shirt tucked out, he stops 

at the curbstone to marvel at the drifting clouds.


Carrying Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling,

and Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, he goes

from cafe to cafe—the books clenched,

bulging like unnatural biceps.


His eyes follow the thread of lines, linger

at some words, retracing its path

to the beginning—he sighs and wonders 

at the dead autumn branch outside the window.

Giving way to long bouts of silence, he broods, 

searching for better images, fresh metaphors.


The immortality of fame waves hello,

a glazed ceramic bust purses its lips in a self-

satisfied smug, looking at him with the eyes 

of an old heron through the swirl of dingy, 

foul air of this rented room.


He lets his hair grow, he ignores his razor.

Thin and pimply, sweaty palms, breath sour

from smoking too many Camels,

he haunts the streets searching for his own face.


The fire in his eyes is unsettling.

The storm in his heart is raging.


He imagines himself in a poetry reading,

an unlit clove cigarette dangling from his lips—

starry-eyed college girls surround him, singing

praises of his contemplative life.

He goggles at their asses sticking out

from tight camo pants and gets

a semi hard-on.


Smoking and drinking, drinking and smoking,

with sweet, sonorous voices buzzing in his ear,

he zonks-out on the couch—

Kierkegaard falls on his chest,

Nietzsche slips off his palm.


Deep inside he knows he’s happy and content—

after all, he’s a poet, and he’s too tired 

to give a damn to what I have to say.


Poetry by Yayāti
Read 290 times
Written on 2019-12-12 at 17:06

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Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
Oh, there's so much to like here. I am taken with the line: "the immortality of fame waves hello" --- such a contrast between the portentous and the casual! Well done!

The books like "unnatural biceps"! The old heron-eyes in the dingy room. Such an eye for detail and an ear for language.

These are first impressions. If I sit with it awhile, I have no doubt I'll find even more that magnetizes and intrigues.