I’m gonna tell you how pissed off I am
Cauz your somebody, and you’re out there
beyond the page
where I don’t have to
your impatience, your indifference
your incomprehensible jealousy
which stings me
like nothing else
when it is called to my attention
like nothing else
I wanna be your friend.
Somewhere along the road
from a youth full of tears and
fists thrown through a spray of spittle
I got civil
got all jacked-up on etiquette and restraint.
Somehow I missed out on that
Boston Irish spirit
and that lightning-quick response time of my New England peers.
Now when people give me shit
I take it
like a buddha or something
well I ain’t no buddha!
So today I maxxed out.
This guy pushed my “unfulfilled writer” button
(which these days is bigger than Shamu)
and I ate it
Then I pulled out that Louisville Slugger from the closet,
tore the mattress off my bed and stood it up out back.
I beat the shit out of that mattress.
I hit it with anger and I hit is with sorrow
I hit is with everything I had until
the strength left me and I could only thump it lightly as I cried,
sobbing for the manic awkwardness of artists
my eyes so full of tears I could not see.
I wept out of loneliness and frustration
out of untold rage at my publisher, those pirates!
and at myself for believing them, for my patience and congeniality
I wept for my love of this mountain
and for my intense desire to flee from
her cloistering and incestuous embrace.
I struck at the mattress with renewed vigor
picturing the faces that eye me so, as though they know me.
They don’t know me.
I hammered that mattress until I felt I was done.
A warm sense of respite and renewal came over me,
a kind of euphoria.
I had beat the pirates
who sit upon my words and stifle them with time.
I had beat the face of indifference, and
I had beat the face of jealousy and petty judgement.
I was done
cleansed for the moment from these lowly shits.
And for the time being
not caring if I was ever understood
or if my words went forever unread,
I chucked the day’s agenda and sat down
to a Jarmusch film
and dreamt about the Deep South
where everything is a lime-Jello green
where the music and the food are a seduction
and the people don’t know my name.
© Rick McKinney March 1996