Poetry by A J Lewis

Poetry by A J LewisYes 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.

Visiting Benson (Part One: The Simple Way)

I like to be alone
when I write.
this is why I like
to come to Benson to
sit behind screen windows
and take all of this wet
desert in.

it has been raining all
day. and I have wondered if
this monsoon weather will
cripple this
place.

last night
while we were driving the highway
we stopped to eat at a country theme restaurant.
and as we ate
the wind and the rain blew fierce against
the windows.

I knew then that the day was about over.

and I knew that the roads would be flooded.

but I am glad that I am here now, though,
behind stone and glass in Benson,
watching the rain come
down.

it is relaxing.

and I am glad that the rain has subsided this much
as to allow me to make my way to this guest house
(second story)
where I can stare at the mountains
and clouds –
where I can
type at this
poem.

this is the simple way to write.
and I am glad that you have been reading
through this
to this point
so that you can know
that the rain is not
so
bad
here.

Hello, Are You There?

it shouldn’t take much to tell you how I have been;
just a quick “hello” or a quick
“I love you”
before I get off the phone.
it shouldn’t have to take 15 minutes to say goodbye as
you search for a reason
to keep me on the
phone.

this is too much,
and when you sit there breathing on the other end
I am forced to ask
“HELLO, ARE YOU THERE?”

why must you attack me for wanting to go?

what am I doing that is so wrong?

this cell phone has become a burden;
it has become a chain to your whims.

and even now
as I am trying to write
you are calling me,
wanting to know what I am doing
or who I am with.

tonight I am with myself,
and as mysterious as this must sound
I enjoy being without all of this technology.
this typewriter is silent to the touch:
no mechanical hum or electricity.
this room is open to the desert
with no TV or computer.

I like sitting here sometimes,
without the drone of the new world.

and btw, if I were with another girl,
my phone would have surely been
off.

Falling Stars And Summer Wishes

I remember one summer of my childhood
that I took a trip to the Grand Canyon
to go rafting on the Colorado river.

I went with a group of summer camp kids
in an old yellow bus
and the drive seemed endless.

when we arrived that night
I remember looking up and seeing the stars that filled the sky –
hardly what I was used to seeing in the city.
our camp leader told us
that because of the late hour
we needed to find a place to sleep nearby our main camp
which was setup along the river’s beach.

so with my friend and two other children
we hiked up a rocky hill that we decided to make our camp on.

later that night
the sky was lit up by a firework show of shooting stars.
we laid awake for hours
making silent wishes
as each one passed into the dark of the horizon.

it was a night of magic
and I can hardly believe now
that it happened
to me.

but
as I have gotten older
I have wondered about all those wishes we made that night.
and I’ve wondered about all the wishes
that were made that night by others
with hopes
and dreams
and prayers.
that night I was able to belong in a moment of unity –
when I was the most honest with myself
and when it seemed that
wishes can come true.

Who Have I Become?

I went to go see her the other day
to tell her about my new child and my new marriage
and about how great my life is now.
but
she had no mercy for me.

she was disappointed with how I had changed.

she knew me when I believed in something more than myself;
when my outward connection
was honest and strong.

so this conversation that we had
was short – maybe two minutes.
I tried to explain how I was doing
but she looked past my words
and she said “you should have stuck with your music,”

her words made that moment real,
and my facade was crippled. I felt paralyzed.
I drove home thinking: what has happened to me?
what has happened to my passion? where has my spirit gone?
I see the clouds roll through this city sky
and the leaves fall as the trees sway with the wind,
and there is such beauty all around me.

has the music has stopped for me?

and now at night
when I cover myself in bed,
I remember myself younger and wandering under the moon and stars.
I remember myself looking for answers.

this talk with her has caused me to look under the surface of who I am now
to see this person I have become.

and I wonder now if this dusty guitar
can still play.

I Have Measured My Worth In The Shadows

sitting here in the dark
on this cold Wednesday night
I wonder about a past friend
and where he might be
now.

let me explain.

my mind always goes back to Autumn of the year 1996 –
a time of new experiences,
first times
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 laugh.
we let go of the outside world
and then
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
and myself,
where I could experience a new part of myself
for the first time.

it was a time of high school,
virgin love,
drinking, smoking,
and it was great.

all of me then
was perfect.
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
back together
since.