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So You Think You Can Follow This Has-Been Forever?

This poem was inspired by the works and styles of Charles Bukowski.

I must disappear for a while.
I am scarred, beat-down, washed-out,
and completely fed-up
with wars without resolutions,
with shallow rock and roll revolutions,
with the lamentations of the rhythm and blues.
Been waiting on the whims
of the devout.
Can live without
them gagging
on my towering dreams
that dwarf my crushed ambitions,
which were sold to the highest bidder
for free to some arrogant putz
that neither wanted them
nor me in the first place.

Slumdogs with cigars,
paupers in suits,
emperors wearing invisible rags,
all still chase vanity like Midas,
whose golden calves
patrol the cathedral caverns
of the labyrinthine steps
that spiral the staircase.

I spend
my twilight years
polishing the ups
& downs of the wooden helix,
and yet I am unable to relax.
Stressed, shell-shocked,
deflowered artichokes
shed their dying petals
in this algid, miserable hospital
which might as well be
any mortuary of the living
for that matter,
that lovingly spoon-feeds the coroner
his steady paycheck
so long as we support
grand galas
honoring those who treat false diseases
with standardized methods
of institutional abuse
in the bleakest of places
where the doctors are both the judge and jury,
where those seeking treatment
are preemptively framed as liars
before they are tortured
according to their captors’ desires,
lest the patients
willingly ingest encapsulated mercy.

It is true that hope suffocates
when it is forced to rationalize
the darkness that follows
the total degradation of willpower,
only to be discouraged by the hard truth
that those around me
would rather break my spirit
than help me break the habit
that has ravaged my mind and my body.

I cast this cry into the wind,
praying that a someone with a soul
will free my brain from its chemical prison
of chronic medication dependence
before whatever sense of dignified pride
I have left completely dies inside.

As I said before,
I am scarred, beat-up, washed-up,
and utterly fed-up
by the cycle of crimes
permitted and perpetrated daily
against our own humanity,
that we forgive without restitution:

Instead, most of us walk away!

Worry not for me.
I will be safe even in the sadness
that pervades the scorched earth
of the altered consciousness
that flows like a river
through cerebral cemeteries.

But I refuse to dwell in misery,
to part with this world without
truly living in it,
for I have found this depression
to be my own

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