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.
I have always walked the line
between the light and the darkness,
and there was a time in my life where I resided
in the darkness
caught up with me.
after recovering from that dark lifestyle
I found that I could find quiet
in the light
and I began doing a different kind of meditation each day.
I was given a second chance to
reclaim my soul.
this new lifestyle went on for a while
and it was productive
until I became thirsty again for the darker parts of life
and did things that I am not proud of
and drank to forget about my hardships, my losses and my sadness.
leave it to me to throw away a second chance.
my relationships went to hell
as I burned my bridges with friends
and secluded myself
inside my own dark world.
I threw away ethics
and laughed at faith,
because I convinced myself that I was going to live forever.
but since my son’s birth
I have been making my way back into the lighter parts of life.
somewhere in me there is a decent man left
and I look at my son and I wonder:
do I want him to grow up and be like me now?
someone once told me that we learn by example,
and I have been a witness to this truth all my life.
my experiences have not been good
and I have not led a positive lifestyle.
but maybe somewhere in me
there is a good person
ready to come out
and shine on this world.
and I am typing in a small garage converted
while my family sleeps across the house
while the frost outside settles
while the restlessness of my night takes me captive.
what is really happening here
is that I am too tired to sleep
too annoyed by people
too caught up in the slipstream of this
the stars, you see, are like the blueprint to a bigger purpose
and I am here as
at the beginning of our great civilization
before space travel and
and I can stare out these small windows of this room
at the vastness of the sky
as cavemen once did
while fire and heat and warmth
seem to matter most now this
it is the mind
and not the body
I am realizing
that shapes how we all live
and this is why a hero seems so important
as the stars in the sky burn into our minds
and religions are born and then destroyed
and all of this seems like we can make differences
for the want of more than now.
our society needs a hero
to come and save the flesh
and maybe even the mind
from some sort of tragic happening
and we worship and hold divine
the ones that would sacrifice what we would not.
I am flesh and
I am mind.
and I am tired of the short progression of our society
for all that we have done
and know now and
seem to be able to do
we still take from this Earth
like it was ours to begin with.
with our limited minds and our limited flesh
and even in the religions of man
we come from and we return to
we are the dirt of our past.
and until we travel the stars and find new worlds to conquer
and until we find better ways to make it through the days now
I will sit and wait for death
knowing that there is something better
there is so much more
than we know now.
and it will probably take some years before it will all come together
before it will happen
before we can take the
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.
sitting here in the dark
on this cold Wednesday night
I wonder about a past friend
and where he might be
let me explain.
my mind always goes back to Autumn of the year 1996 –
a time of new experiences,
and choices that would decide my path in life.
and tonight, as the shadows crawl up these walls,
I see again my friend and I
smoking in my parent’s backyard.
we have a single candle burning,
and the light from it
accompanies the moment.
we let go of the outside world
it all makes sense for a moment.
there have been too many nights
that I have taken my mind back there –
to a place that was completely free of the world
where I could experience a new part of myself
for the first time.
it was a time of high school,
and it was great.
all of me then
and I think now
it was too perfect for me to handle.
you see, I was too happy
and too creative.
I knew what I wanted out of life
and I was willing to take a hold of it.
then, one night soon afterward, I fell apart.
and I have been trying to put myself
he knows nothing of
bills or war.
he sits in the wagon as I pull it.
it is red and made of plastic.
he smiles as I increase the
he grips the sides
and wonders what will happen next.
this November day the sun has gotten warm,
and the weeds are now wet from the early dew.
it is quiet. five acres of
desert, mountain and sky.
yet somehow I am still in Phoenix. I am still at work.
I am thinking about making
paying bills and
about this last election.
we arrive at a flight of wooden stairs.
I bring the wagon to a stop. he gets out.
he holds the side railing of the stairs as he takes each step.
I follow closely behind him, observing:
the sun shines
and in his eyes
I see his smile
and I wonder
as we near the top
about my heart
and where it has been
I am a father. I am a provider.
and yet it feels like I am missing all of this.
the days pass and I have been sweating
in my desire to have more,
to earn more and to gain more
in a material design that never
really felt like
we reach the top landing and I
lift him up.
we both gaze into the valley as it stretches to the mountains
and pulls into the horizon.
he tugs at my shirt and
we both know that today