Poetry by A J Lewis
Yes I am a poet, as if the world needed another, right? Well, as you will discover (if you haven't already), I am good at this craft. I like to type on the computer or typewriter when I write (whatever meets my mood at the time). I am honest and to the point, meaning I am not afraid to say what I think. I like walks in the park and late night phone conversations. I like to read Bukowski when I take a shit on the toilet and Rilke when it rains. I think that Snyder is brilliant. I know that there is a God, but I have serious doubts about organized Christian religion. I am a Pisces, which means I am moody, emotional and sensitive. I like to drink vodka in the afternoon, but don't call me a drunk, because I can out drink any of you little shits. I am not athletic, but I exercise occasionally. I am a vegetarian. I write to get this loud voice of poetry out of me and into words. Please... only the serious should read on. I am not interested in the boring, mundane, average or the needy. I am not attempting to be a hero, nor am I a role model. I am just a poet with an honest voice. I am awaiting your reaction to my poetry.
it is raining on this desert tonight
and I am a memory – a chapter from my childhood.
often my parents would yell at each other… it would be unbearable.
to escape them I would go outside.
sometimes it would rain
and it would cover me.
as a child it was hard growing up with them.
it was difficult to listen to their voices
and their frustrations with life.
but my life is not a result of theirs anymore.
I have grown into this man,
and I have moved beyond the memories of them.
as this storm passes through,
I will tell you this:
tonight this is only rain
and a memory entertained
by a quiet evening of my own design.
the day is overcast
and I am south of Tucson
staring at clouds through screen windows.
this is how it begins as
and this is how it begins as
I sit and wait for
today, words have been lost through
concepts have been drawn and then
the rain keeps coming down
and I wonder if
there is any hope for me.
I know that it is miserable to not
and I know that it is terrifying to not
the rain keeps coming down
and the wind blows through
and it is hard to
sit through it all.
but I sit here,
despite my present failure
to write the
this is how it begins as I
swat at the gnats and
this is how it begins as passion and desire
are fading into the rain
as I hit these keys.
the mountains are distant
like the charcoal summer fires.
the city is a speck on the
and this is how it begins as
I make my way
through rain and
maybe it was meant to be
or maybe I have fallen victim to some
this is how it will begin
at the porch of
a quiet desert
just 30 miles south of
sometimes there’s nothing like
putting the top down
letting the wind mess through your hair
the radio playing your song
you pass by your old neighborhood
by an old yellow bus going the opposite way
the scattered clouds working your imagination
the sunny weather like old first times
ahhh like first times, it all makes sense and it all feels good,
and you couldn’t get it more right as you drive away now:
a lost love, a lost job
whirling by and gone in a colorful panorama
but you know it
you know it now:
this, a first moment, a perfect moment
as you turn the radio up and hit the pedal
as you break through
as you smile
because you’re just cruisin’
you’re just cruisin’
I was taken from a private school and put into a public school
when I was in the 5th grade
in the middle of the first semester.
they didn’t like me
and each day was like hell as
I was laughed at, beaten on and
when I went home after school my parents fought constantly
and I was verbally and physically beaten
because they were failing their own lives.
I was not allowed to listen to music
and I dressed poor
and food was good if it was
I tried to make friends at school but
I was perceived as the outcast
and even the biggest loser of the school told me he did not want
to be my friend.
I spent each day alone,
sitting on the play ground alone,
lucky enough not to be tortured by the
one teacher though, Mrs. Nagote, seemed to take pity on me
and she would talk to me
and it was nice to have someone to talk to.
everyone thought that I was retarded because I talked with a lisp
and I used to have to take speech class
and all the children knew about it
and they used to make fun of me for it
and there was only one other girl in my speech class who couldn’t say
the letter R
and I used to have to sit there and listen to her try to say words
with the letter R in it.
Mrs. Nagote was my homeroom teacher
and she genuinely cared to hear what I had to say
when all the other children didn’t
and I remember when I made it through that year of hell
and on the last school day
Mrs. Nagote asked me if I would be back next year
and I promised her that I would
and as the summer moved on
and the Arizona days brought the next school year
my mother came into my bedroom and said
that I would not be going back to
that public school
and it was then
that I realized
I never claimed to be a poet,
or a visionary.
I am a man,
beaten senseless by life,
drunk in my anger
there are things in me that I can’t explain:
like these nightly dreams of events
of the past and the future,
to be spoken to others
and then to be told that I am crazy.
yet despite the remorse, sometimes I can capture my spirituality for a moment,
to experience the ethereal
and the astral,
and feel this energy pulse through me
like it has some purpose.
there are demons that have suffocated my soul –
to be seen somewhere between
waking and sleeping –
to torment and violate –
to break me apart –
to dismiss my handed down Christian beliefs.
and to watch the God I was taught to believe in
turn his back on me
while I am consumed with these evil consorts:
I am a mess:
to wade through the folly of occult teachings,
searching for answers
and sometimes even searching for questions to ask,
to quench a hunger
that has been burned into my mind.
and this has become my life:
the pitiful stench of one who has bathed in his own vomit of a masquerade.
in my mind I am at war with myself,
a war that is bent on explaining these unexplainable occurrences,
to question who I was
who I am
and who’ll I’ll become.
and I can attest to these emotions now to relate to you
that your beliefs are held together by a thread
to someday unravel
to let you fall into a mess
that for a time,
your personal religious beliefs could be a farce,
and this tempting darkness could be so soothing
to keep you
and your soul.
I ache for release –
hoping for an easy exit from my tribulation.
oh, God, or gods, spirit guides, or angels,
hear me now
and let me return to you,
to leave my tormented past of demise and foul doings,
of selfish desires
I am not asking
to become a Christian
or a Buddhist
or a Muslim
or anything else beyond my scope
I am asking for help
to see the light in my darkness
and to save me from this path I am on.
I am asking for forgiveness
that someday, soon, I can be whole again.