Henry Miller’s Typewriter (A Poem)

I drink a glass of red wine,
maybe with eggs,
or should I settle for the protein bar whose ingredients I know nothing about?
It sustains me,
like oil sustains an engine, despite the smell.

I turn on the lights,
the dog looks at me and whines
she thinks it’s bedtime
grumpily she scuffles up the stairs,
only to stick her head down moments later
resigning to the fact that the downstairs floor will have to do for now.

I sit listening to the silence of the house,
the sound of the once busy house
it’s full of old ghosts and new apparitions.

I suddenly remember Henry Miller’s typewriter,
the Redwoods and the feel of creative souls,
tortured souls trying to find bliss in their made up hell,
I remember the feeling of happiness,
the silence accompanying the headstrong pain
that had been my companion.
I left it in that river,
sitting on a stone, all alone.

And then there is a sound,
an apparatus that I am not sure exists,
it is screeching somewhere, a digital notification
and it’s not mine.
Oh I hope ghosts have iPhones nowadays!
Or is this just my brain’s way of letting me know that time almost is up
and that I’m on a short leash?

I still see his eager eyes on me,
Still feel the urge to stop time and tell him to be mine,
I wanted to reach out with my hand,
he was so close,
oh so close,
and it wasn’t much of a stretch at all,
just the flick of a wrist
and I would have touched him
except now it’s too late
the moment was short
and strange
and now it’s gone.

I read a poem by Charles Bukowski
his existential anxt always makes me feel better,
his hardcore pessimism and his resignation to loneliness,
to raw love
and to wine
is awe inspiring
and yet he had a bluebird in his heart.
I wish I had one in mine,
bouncing in the hollow of my brain
tweeting and twittering
and I sigh with distain when I realise
I have one of those
except it’s full of twisted lies and contempt,
friends and enemies,
firelights and broken souls.

Am I one of the broken souls?
Bound to sit in the corner forevermore
because I am who I am?

I stand up and take a step forward,
and then another
and it is excruciating,
like walking in quicksand,
like breathing under water,
like hating the dead,
like reaching out to strangers you like,
like doing what others think you should do.
And I hope at the end of the path the stranger is waiting.

I pour myself another glass of wine,
eat the last of my protein bar
and wonder if there has ever been a poet
that didn’t feel exactly like this.



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