I have to imagine I may have found reason to write verse
even had my life been less filled with the stuff of tragedy.
I might have become a professional pop lyricist,
penning my share of baby babies
and let’s screw/no strings-want you to want me indeeds.
More likely had I written at all
it would have been odes to boredom,
one more collection of heaping happinesses,
another tale of redemption based on another set of half truths,
exaggerating my sorrows
until they were worthy of redeeming.
As it is,
while I am haunted by my past and chained to its monsters until death everlasting,
I am thankful for the poetic fodder I have been given
in quantities large enough to overwhelm my spare talent;
that I have never had to go a single day without a topic,
a light misery perhaps,
a fresh poke in the eye,
a vicious bloodletting slashed from my sordid history.
I am blessed after a fashion,
to have had within my reach
enough material to fill a book,
and sense enough to intersperse the truth
with wit and charm
so as to pull a victory from the ashes of my yesterdays.