Mid-Life Adolescent

I woke up and smelled the urine at age forty-five
few friends no social life alone bedraggled a hermit a
curmudgeon hiding crab-like into the shadowy
fade of delusion.
Upon my direction silent screen stars emerge on cue
from a script and sight-read auditions to play me, then
meander restless bored hungry for recognition and
starved for the excitement of bad reviews...half a
life of cancellations sick calls no-shows and
lousy excuses walking the streets tonight
in search of a coke and a slimjim.
Words are cheap i know I' ve heard it said all my life; they
come easy to me nowadays with eerie and uncanny accuracy...
to torment an old aging bard self-serving the informal
obscurity of my art.
Self-exile from the dull the dying and the dead inspired
at first a howl of reticence from those in the right of way,
till they realized I was traveling blind.
The art of semantics...performed with accomplished savvy
and no more than acquired skills needed along the way
for perfection and precision of concise slights-of-hand
designed to con the reader into jerking the writer off.
I swim upstream against a white water of metaphor and simile wet
with the drowsy soak of ambiguity...chilling the heart,
rendering divisions between real and what
I believe is not.
My dreams are witches shamans alchemists who perform
perfect illusions of girlish flesh-vendors with the breath
of Bacchus getting trounced by an army of riderless
horses...beggars having set them free.
The wishes of all artists are the same.
We seek definition identity salvation acknowledgment immortality
and hopefully an impression of existential charm.
In the afterlife of creativity there is no right no wrong no
good no bad no questions of I sleepwalk through
a stranger's dark house
wandering cautiously
naked and uninvited.

Russell J. Sether

Poem Copyright ; 1998 Russell J. Sether. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright ; 1998 Elisa Terranova. All Rights Reserved.