Posted by: jamesotis | January 11, 2009

Of pies and ghosts and long lost posts

The following was penned in the summer of ’03 by my late friend Invictus. I have little idea how I ended up on his blog tonight but wanted to share this. It is a long poem. He as I had a penchant for being obtuse and slightly obscure.
I miss my friend. I heard several lines from Shakespere’s 71st sonnet earlier this evening. Somehow I’ve found the closure I need. Thanks my friend, for all that you teach me.

My Piece of the Pie by A.R. Lehman

Prelude
i
My Generation?
You mean the people born before the apocalypse
But after the Depression?
Or are you talking about
All the babies who came out
With a silver keyboard up their drives?
Are we the people who started to rebel
When the generation before us just came to realize
That they could benefit from our enslavement?
That’s life; you can’t expect more.
It’s the same old question:
If you could be oppressor or oppressed,
Which one would you chose?
Don’t give me the noble answer;
Tell me which choice you made.

ii
So, when does the next generation start?
Has it already, when my little sister screamed?
Was it when I decided that I should get my piece of the pie?
Oh wait, sorry.
My mistake.
I haven’t done that yet, so here’s the deal.
Mine is the last generation.
It started when people became people.
It’ll end when the universe dries up.
Or maybe it’ll end where it began.
Ourobouros: will my sister benefit from MY captivity?
What a lovely hiccup that would be.

iii
Left behind?
Nope.
I didn’t miss any trains.
My map, you know,
The one I got at birth,
Told me that the bridge was already completed.
I missed the sign.
I walked off a cliff.
I missed the sign on the human condition:
SCHEDULED FOR DEMOLITION
SALVAGE WHAT YOU CAN
AND RUN
NOTE FROM MANAGEMENT:
EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF

iv
Why did I miss the sign?
I was looking at a fucking flower
On the side of the road.
Pardon me for taking a look;
For finding beauty in something
ELSE.
What look in my eyes?
Fine, you caught me!
I lied.
I read the sign.

v
I walked off the cliff anyway.

My Piece of the Pie
1
I tasted the pie for a minute or two,
Then I threw up for the next six hours.
They told me I had to eat it still,
And that it would give me special powers.

They sat me down and gave me a long talk.
“What the hell are you doing, looking at flowers,”
They screamed as if possessed by a demon,
“While everyone else does their duty and cowers?”

I thought of ten thousand clichés with which to reply.
“Sorry, what can I do to makes things better?”
They couldn’t tell that I was feeding them a lie.
“I just want to be happy, and find a place without pain.”

They plopped down in front of me a plate of quiche.
“Eat this and banish the pain for the rest of your life.”
Funny game I was playing; I had them on a leash.
I picked up the fork, ready to eat, and they smiled.

2
The doctors had to remove fork fragments from my neck.
Ten of them, they counted, and asked what had happened.
I stared at him for what must have been ten minutes,
“Can’t tell you; you’ll think I’ve gone off the deep end.”

The doctor looked at me inquisitively, daring me to speak.
“I do have one small request, kind sir, if you’ll humor me.”
I couldn’t feel my left foot, and the lights were too bright.
“Restraints are fine, but please loosen the one by my knee.”

At least the walls were soft, and they had room service.
I sat for six months, and then finally graduation came.
The band played, and the valedictorian gave a speech.
All I could think was that the jokes were really lame.

We were all ready to take our places in the unreal world.
My best friend, mocking us, goose-stepped down the aisle.
After all the principal had done to me, I shook his hand.
I touched that lying weasel, but I think I’m still in denial.

3
When the brochure called it an institution of higher learning,
I thought that meant it would help me see more clearly.
Then on my first night, I smelled the leaves they were burning.
“Don’t worry mom and dad, it was only a contact high.”

How was I supposed to know I was so incredibly fragile?
I was sick of having to apologize to myself for everything.
So I pulled the plug, to keep from choking on my own bile.
Away from one thing I couldn’t stand, and towards another.

I had trouble deciding whether I had more power after that,
Free of the institution, and away from the higher learners.
Wait a minute; there’s a funny smell here and it’s not the cat.
Horror of horrors; I though I told them I couldn’t eat quiche.

“Why is that here after all these years, after I told you ‘no’?”
They told me it was a new flavor, and that I had to eat soon.
My face must have shone bright with an infuriated red glow.
“Bye,” I said silently, surprisingly calm, as I packed my bags.

4
Two endless months, only to find out I wasn’t ready to leave.
All that trouble, packing suitcase after suitcase, for naught.
How could I leave now, just as things began to fall together?
I still didn’t believe the world would deny me what I sought.

The world had never denied anyone anything, so I was confident.
My problem had never been the world, material and without flaws.
That which stood in my way was far more dynamic; far more open.
And far greater the danger that I would fall into its waiting jaws.

So here I am, and I’m ready to put up one hell of a fight.
I will never believe it, this lie they tell me fifty times a day.
The problem is not with me or my rather unusual appetite.
This pie is rotten, so I must refuse it as I have from the start.

Thank you, good reader, for that is the story I wanted to tell.
Now who will join me in making this new, exotic dish,
That we may finally eat a good meal to make our souls well.
At last, we may have something richer than our piece of the pie.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: