Saturday Poem: Desperate Measures

Illustration: Photo by Harold Feinstein @ Poetic Outlaws

there are so many ways to fall
so many ways to crack down the middle and
so many ways to singe your wings
so many ways to crawl
to crashland in the swamp without
a compass or stick of bread
so many ways to stay too late and
lose your way home
so many ways to
get sick of it all

there are so many ways to
put yourself out for nickels and dimes
to huddle in the dark
waiting for the ambulance to come
and cut yourself up on
the fangs of regret

so many ways to seek nourishment from a
to lose your sense of style
to go begging for a tiny crumb of purpose
to your best friends cause
they can’t help anymore
to wrap yourself in damage and
smash yourself flat
to run out of mercy

so many ways to laugh at
all the wrong times
so many ways to walk like a loser and
run like a dog
to twist as
the atmosphere shrinks and
you’re only a half step ahead of the law
and you gun’s only loaded with
glass bullets

and the only way to open the windows
is to smash them
and time is a thug creeping up on your trail
and the SWAT Team’s got your blood type
and you don’t even have the breath to
gasp an epitaph

and the gulls are shrieking bloody murder
and the wind is whipping your rags around
there are so many ways to lose heart
so many ways to lose faith
I’ve tried them all
and they all seem to work for a while

but if hope is a moron
and ambition a lie
pride is a drug I
need every day
so many ways to
drown in 3 inches of water
so many ways to
ruin what you love the most
and drag it from the fire
and give it a new name
and sling it on your back
so many ways to walk
down a road with no end

By: David Lerner
From Bruce Isaacson at Zeitgeist Press: David Lerner expected poetry to save the world. He expected this quite literally and concretely. He expected both to change the culture around him, and to change his own position in life. He expected poetry to reawaken the primacy of feeling in modern life like some dormant gland. He expected poets to take the helm of modern culture, and steer us toward a future where the human soul is restored of meaning. A wild, impractical dream, perhaps, but let me not live in a world where such a dream is only madness.

You can find all of David Lerner’s fiery works of poetry at Zeitgeist-Press.