The Cleave Poetry Webzine [ISSN: 1758-9223]

Immortality by Rick Dale

In submission on January 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm

I want to careI want people to think

I doI really give a shit

or maybe I think I’m supposed to careIt’s only a phantom

all that guilt-driven shamethe constant harping

heaped on medosed in good measure

by a well-meaning but fascist parentapplied with “love”

comes to fruitionleaving welts

late in lifeon tender skin

Too late?“Not enough,” I scream

The “what is” and the “what should be”unnecessarily

wage war in my crimson thoughtsBut they do make it seem like

I really really don’t give a good goddamnat times

about much of anything others think of meyes, not even you

yet I still act like I dounderstand completely

Am I in control?A lack of empathy

Or is it she—still?Shrew-bitch!

And the gray elephantine weight of it allBearing down unmercifully

colors and smothers my every laborcrushing any effort

to write, speak, move, feelto love!

If I could drive a stakewith abandon

through the heart of darknessto the hilt

I would—ending itforever

But there is immortalitywith her blessings
and her name is “mother”Amen

Rick Dale has a D.Ed. in Educational Administration from Pennsylvania State University, and is a professor in the Special Education Department at a state university in Maine. He is a Jack Kerouac enthusiast who plays bluegrass music semi-professionally and enjoys a multitude of outdoor sports. Rick lives with his partner and her two sons—and two cats—on a lake in Maine. The Beat Handbook is his first book.

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