For Doug

Let us acknowledge, now drunkenly, that our lives have
Fallen short of, or, at least, veered sharply from, the courses
We once thought that they'd be on. You saw yourself as
An English professor, tweedy guy, beloved of dangerous
Coeds, and also an avant-garde novelist, earner of tenure,
Collector of praise, but you wound up a flack for
An aerospace company, father of two, a mower of lawns
Until you were divorced. Now, you molder in an apartment
With empty gin bottles and dying plants, and you wonder
If you've any lower to go. I was, oh, I don't know, hoping
To keep up with all these achievements you didn't obtain,
But I fell behind quickly. I kept leaving school, knocked
Around, was a printer, a driver of cabs, a store clerk,
An adjunct, at last, who taught shit. Then I quit to raise
Children and never came back. I still write, but nobody
Thinks I'm avant-garde. If I'm thought of at all, it's because
Of this beard. We're two old guys who tug separate
Lifetimes of failure. Let's drink to the courses we're on.

Poetry by Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2024-05-14 at 13:16

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Ingvar Loco Nordin The PoetBay support member heart!
To me you are avant-garde. Your stuff should be read out aloud. Ever though of that? I'm recording my poetry, read as prose, like a stream-of-consciousness text. It's dreamy, quite different than the poems read as... poems. So far 38 CDs worth of it. I read my diaries from the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s that way. 153 CDs. Sometimes I lay back and listen to a month, somewhere.

Being published by a main publisher most of the time has NOTHING to do with quality. Those guys employed by the publishers to weigh what's coming in, have that job because they can't write themselves. So they look if the writer has connections, is interesting in some other way than his writing (ethnicity, age, trade et cetera) - and they're really happy if the text comes from someone who has already been published. YOU are good, I enjoy your texts a great deal. They're original, and... avant-garde. Compared to 99% of what hits this group, which is pure shit, you're stuff has all the hallmarks of LITERATURE!

Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
All very thought provoking. I feel we are call blind to our real achievements. I'm talking about the purpose of Life here. Your poem reflects on that in my mind. And what is wrong with reappraising the realism of the goals we set in in our younger lives. I want to win the Lotto, but I'm told the odds against that are in the order of 19,000,000 to 1: What are the odds of becoming an avante-garde novelist I wonder? Blessings, Allen

alarian The PoetBay support member heart!
you made me think of Charles Bukowski who achieved something despite his failures I might say but well not all the valuable things float!
after divorcing, my mother-in-law forced me to be the mower of lawns