Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It’s my biography and I have every right to get it wrong

Chapter I: A misplaced youth

My first original rhyme –
take a “truck” drop the head and add an eff –
was hand-me-down crude,
not clever,
but how clever can you be
at four years old?

The chilly blush of it still brings
out a ringing
sound of one hand clapping
against my cheek;
then comes the deflating bawl
from pouchy flesh instantly un-stuffed
of its squirrely giggles and glee.

It put me off cheap sing-song thrills
for decades.

Same age, different flaws:
Can you be too young to develop
a finely tuned sense of entitlement
and the firmest conviction
for redistributing misbegotten wealth?

If anyone deserved a raggedy toy –
don’t call it a doll –
mouse-eared and with cherry-red shorts
cheerily poking out
of a tinsel-topped Christmas stocking,
it was me, not her.

Maybe Santa was suffering
from dementia,
or forgot his reading glasses.

I wasn’t smart enough yet
to cover my tracks,
and I didn't know any fences;
it’s hard to deny a crime
when you’re hugging the goods.

Skip ahead a few years,
and after the regular Sunday
indoctrinations of an uncharitably
faith-based brand of hero-worship,
there are all the tell-tale signs
of a sleep-sick heart
with an over-simplified world view
married to a messiah complex.

Is it normal to dream
of oneself, small but magnificently armored,
supplanting Michael
as the head of that goodly Host
driving out the evil legions?

At least I knew how to side with a winner
back then.

I also dreamed Gulliver-like,
I had been roped down to my bed
by a clutch of creepy-crawly bugs,
and in a tiny voice I could barely make out,
their spokes-beetle cried up to me:
“There will come a time
when the time finally comes,
and when it does
you’ll smack its self-satisfied face
for keeping you
waiting so long.”

My hand's always poised above the clock.

To be continued...
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