Paulelmo's Blog

A Poem that Leaves Me with Questions of Punctuation–Caution: Drug references

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A Poem that Leaves Me with Questions of Punctuation

I waked and baked and I
blazed brains all day,
slowly sucking smoke off this
big, fat crunchy nug
that a buddy from the bar
gave me, and I
had to smoke it out of a
homemade tin foil pipe because I
threw all my other pipes away
last time I quit pulling on trees, and I

hid inside, inside, inside…
inside the house from the rain
inside the head from the world
on which the rain fell.
I turned on the tunes and
picked up the pen.
I played some lazy day Beatles and some
lazier day Jack Johnson.
I played some Ramones so I wouldn’t
take things too seriously
and some Paul Simon so I wouldn’t
take them too lightly either.

And I played with the pen,
trying to find out
how infinite a mind can become
when it has got
26 letters to work with
and rhythm and meter
and wave and ray
and tone and note
and start and—

pause and

stop

and pun and alliteration,
attribution and personification.
Questions of whether or not to rhyme
and of whether or not
the words deserve the time
I put into them.
Questions of how syllables align
in an algebraic sense
of what is proportional and
if this be this,
then what be that?
Questions of whether or not
to break
a line
or to take
a breath,
questions of when to end.

***

This is one I’ve shied away from sharing because of the drug references. Still, I was looking for something that I like well enough to share, and this fit that criteria. It isn’t like I’m shying away from my spotty past, after all. So, here it is. It dates back to at least the early 2000s, and it might go back to the last century. It’s indicative of how I spent so many days back then, lost in my rooms, in my head, just trying to figure how it all might fit together. I wouldn’t trade the straight-edge, button-downed life that I have these days for anything, but those days didn’t suck. I hope you find something valuable here. Be well, my dear friends.

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