"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Emphysemic Hustler


I am hungry for your touch,
peace on leathered skin,
tomorrow left on the horizon.

The daylight work of damning consistent
sits on my alarm clock rattling its chain
to keep me working at dying empty.

Memory is the euphoric touch of blue sky
in the vomit covered gravity I find on 5th street
where a bus stop is my second home.

If cigarettes could touch the soul, I’d be
the shaman of nicotine, but I am an
emphysemic hustler bartering with death.

I miss the kindness of open windows dripping smiles
as I passed beneath them; the sound of giggles
playing music with taxi horns; yesterdays that weren’t digital.

Oh, hell, maybe my soul still knows the way to Shambhala.
I’ve been so busy drinking hard times I’ve starved hope.
There just might be enough blue sky above concrete to show me the way.

©Susie Clevenger 2016


For some reason when I was writing this I felt like I was channeling a man. My muse likes to mess with my head. :)


16 comments :

Hannah said...

The voice in this is excellent - the tale you bring carrying so much gravity...any yet those glimpses of blue sky grab me. Beautiful, Susie.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yes, you were definitely channeling someone, as this is not your voice..........this is rather amazing, Susie...........

Sara McNulty said...

I see the street scene, and love "shaman of nicotine."

hedgewitch said...

This is a stark but dynamic bit of work, Susie--I love the way one metaphor relentlessly follows another, like the empty days of stultifying, unsatisfied labor that make up too much of our lives--the images are crisp as well as bleak, which only makes them hit us the more. Sometimes the muse just goes out walking and comes back with the strangest things!--good stuff.

Outlawyer said...

A very vivid sort of desperation and resignation both here. Very vivid, and wonderful creative combinations. Thanks, Susie. k.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I also miss non-digital yesterdays. This is a remarkable monologue, Susie. Cohen-inspired, perhaps, but all your own brilliance.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

This was a great monologue in a male voice, indeed.

Esp liked

"I miss the kindness of open windows dripping smiles
as I passed beneath them; the sound of giggles
playing music with taxi horns; yesterdays that weren’t digital.

Oh, hell, maybe my soul still knows the way to Shambhala."

kaykuala said...

There just might be enough blue sky
above concrete to show me the way

It is not the end when the door is slammed shut on us. There is still the silver lining for everyone to work on for the better.

Hank

brudberg said...

Sometimes we all long for a sense of simplicity. I think you captured all those men who never live in poetry... Great voice.

radio head said...

This is fantastic. SO many great lines, but I think the stanza is my favorite.

Carol Campbell said...

Definitely voluptuous!! I love it.

Ellecee said...

Love this poem, it speaks about a person I know, it speaks for her VERY well, which can be scary at times.. I know men in this situation too,,,but, for me, it's her. I've shared on Twitter and G+

De said...

I love the hope in the end of this...sky above concrete.

And THIS:
"to keep me working at dying empty."

So much.

grapeling said...

Susie, this reminds me in the best way of Velvet Underground and Lou Reed lyrics.

So many great lines, but among them I'm also drawn to those yesterdays.

Thank you for adding your voice ~

Rommy said...

You had me hooked from the first stanza. Such a really great feeling of loss/longing/nostalgia in this piece.

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

Wow! Absolutely engrossing! Wonderfully impactful.

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