Poetry by A J Lewis
it’s not enough that
a poem is written or a
or a story is told.
what I have learned is that
what is ultimately important is the method that it comes out or
the journey that was taken
now listen here,
as I have written
it will break you
and your desire to do all of this
will destroy you.
I do all of this
because there is a fire inside of me
that breaks through
I am crazy and
and to the point.
and it is not enough that you can just write it.
it must break you as you hit the keys.
you must debate whether to share the truth
or let it slowly die in you.
you must drink and hold your gut
as the words develop
and your creation
you can create and scheme and
sell it all to the masses,
but what is truly done here
is what happens as you travel through the hell
this art, you may think that you can tame it or
send it out for the
perusal of others.
but I leave this poem here for you
against the odds of your suffering self
to put it out there
as you have lived it
these last few weeks I have had some
it hasn’t been about anything specific,
just a lot of random situations that
put me places a bit unreal.
sometimes I wonder if
I am dreaming of the future
because the future sometimes happens
the way that I dream it,
not exactly, but the underlying message
last night I dreamt about a girl from years past.
she was getting married, or at least,
she just got engaged. and she made it a point to show me
and everyone else
the ring on her finger.
well, I didn’t really want to listen to her
and the whole mess was annoying to me.
why would I care?
why would I dream about this?
I couldn’t imagine that there is any part of me that
needs to get over her or
get past the time that we spent together.
these days I am happy with my life
and the future that is coming for me.
dreams like this are better left,
just like I left her
in high school I was very depressed.
I would excuse myself for long bathroom breaks
and go to the top level bridge and
stare at the mountains and the clouds.
I was looking for a release then,
as I stand at this apartment balcony
looking to the mountains and beyond,
am looking for a release.
there must be more to this life
than just feeling around blindly in the dark.
yet, I stand here now,
wondering and waiting,
as if my entire being is crying out to do something
more than what I have been.
I am hoping for a chance to prove myself
this balcony is like a cage,
and I am a hungry tiger,
holding quiet behind this prison of me,
waiting for the chance to leap out
for the want of more
these are the moments worth remembering,
and at times these moments are unsympathetic to revisit.
but I keep them – they are held in my mind –
a record of first times and of first loves,
when I was confident, confused, passionate, impetuous, anxious
and full of the desire to prove something to someone.
now to move forward through blinking eyes
that are curtains of flesh that guard my soul;
to steal this gaze, that for a moment you can see me then,
and then to be gone, as time takes the seasons. but I can tell you that
through these eyes I’ve lived this life:
I’ve held people
and stars, and moons and dreams.
I’ve made love to women
lusted also for the few I couldn’t have.
I’ve written songs in the rain,
watched death in a Scottsdale hospital bed
and regretted always the goodbye.
I’ve had bad luck
and good luck
and tried to forget it all
in journals through the years.
to what end are we all destined – to face the cold chill of the dirt,
the worms and the maggots; to compulsively wash our conscience
to spend our later days in coffins with no mind or blinking eyes?
and what of God? and what of my soul? what of these questions of spirituality
and of religion?
what of beginnings and of history? what of Greek gods,
of Egyptian gods, of Celtic gods, of all gods
who have promised to salvage a soul?
where are the heroes now that do great deeds – impossible deeds –
that transcend virtue to welcome the spirit of a good story?
am I this great hero in my story? can I stand next to Achilles in my mind?
and here, from behind my eyes, I have done deeds
and these memories: now to keep me in silence,
forcing, cringing at my mistakes,
swallowing my hopes, never surpassing my expectations
or achieving anything worthy of what I hold great,
and torturing my sleep with dreams of loss and of failure…
these are the moments of my life
and I myself am destined to become a memory in you, held fondly hopefully,
until you are gone, and until we are all forgotten,
like heroes that lived and loved and lost, and that probably never were.
I would be the last to admit
the showing of any emotion
when watching a movie or
hearing a story about
a hero or a person who demonstrates
I have romanticized about the idea that there could be
such a type of person in this world.
the people that I meet seem to
destroy and pillage; they have no regard or
sanctity for anything or anyone.
I, myself, have lived this lifestyle of
destruction, and I can recognize it
because I have known it.
so where are these heroes?
I am reluctant to confess that I have passed up
opportunities to help a person
in need. I have turned away for fear of harm to myself
or for the simple fact
that I was too busy.
I am sure that
if you were watching my story
you would be disappointed and would hope that something great
would happen in me
to end this story well.
perhaps I am drawn into the preservation of my own life
or the achievement of my dreams
to help anyone
but I will at least tell you this, even if you are reading this
long after I am dead.
someday my time will come –
the moment of my life –
when I will pull the heroic qualities out from within me
and shine through the darkness.
until then, I will keep writing
whom have sacrificed much
and lost much