The Worst Vice is Advice

Twenty five years of tantrums and spitting gibberish
thoroughly spent lolling in swamps wallowing in filth,
the worst mistake was believing in all my decisions
in defiance of every word of advice offered sought or begged.
Surrounded now by broken toys and faded scraps of paper
detailing deeds of forgotten passions and suppressed ideals,
it’s easier to surrender to the lull of tide and tempest
than to fight forever in someone else’s bloody wars.
In years past I believed that I felt
the encroaching doom of our star-crossed species,
when now it is clear that our immortality is assured
and our kind shall thrive like roaches in the rubbish heap.

So what is bothering me?

Four lifetimes and a hundred more years couldn’t satisfy
my petty needs and cliched dreams,
drowning in fresh air and rooted in salted earth
parched of reason to harvest out of season,
fruit shriveling on a shrunken branch
and thoughts rotten with home-grown misery.

Grasping a blackened bong with feverish contemplation
glazing eyes turned within to agonised concentration,
so the fallen and the falling alike seize
upon these clotted seconds of clarity
and we read deep between lines unwritten
and seeking insight in the furrows of your face.
The truth! They cry
setting fires and tearing up the dust
with bent fingers and broken teeth,
gnashing muttering blubbering shrieking
outside the gates of hallowed Eden.

Brick me into my home and sink the bridges over
flooded rivers, inundated with backwater tranquility
with the thunder of jets, with moss bound heads
elemental terror in the mosquito-bitten suburbs
decay and despair on the edge of nowhere.

Forgotten and forsworn
grieving and unforgiven
waiting down a hole with rifle and blade
and sheer tenacity
holding onto trembling sanity
and biting my fingers with sickness and worry.
Consigned forever
and condemned to bear
backward genetics and a bad attitude,
and crawling under the wire
in dim hope of redemptive pain,
to set me free from a life unlived
and restore my sight with holy hands
only so that I might see
the wreck and the ravished lands around me.

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