I Am Alone: A Narrative Poem
Don't judge me too harshly
This hub is listed under poetry, but that is probably being too generous. Hear me out, okay? I consider myself a writer, but I must confess I admire and envy poets. When I make a stab at poetry, what I see when I’m done usually includes awkward rhymes and/or odd cadences. I may have the heart of a poet, but I didn’t get the talent. Despite my poetic shortcomings, I find myself unable to resist manipulating words in a more personal way than the AP Stylebook recommends. I want to know the same joy in writing that I feel in creating a drawing or painting. I want to say more than, “I wrote this.” I want to be able to say, “This is what I am.” To that end, one afternoon I sat down to write a true poem. I’m uncertain if I captured my soul or essence in these humble words, but I tried. What came out was this narrative:
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I Am Alone
I am alone.
Safe. Dark. Cozy. Quiet
Not good enough. Reality. Socialization in progress.
Artwork. Magic markers. Escape. Release.
Best friends. Girls.
An altered horoscope. Carvings in a tree. Sleepwalking.
The Seven Destinations. The end of innocence.
The Bible. Revelations. "...and behold a Pale Horse...."
Tough guys. Gangs. Rainbow Brothers. Alpha. And others.....
Life gets more weird. (Is that possible?)
The Red House. The Gray Man. The Great Dream Time. The eleven envelopes.
Caterpillar. The statue in the cemetery.
My first car. My first (real) job. University of Kansas.
A condemned building. The world shrinks. Four against the world.
Desperate chances. Risks. An idea. Ends justify the means?
Failure. Despair. Dust. Emptiness.
City league basketball teams. A joy. A release.
New faces. A mutual attraction. So intelligent, so understanding. Very attractive.
It works. For awhile. There's this other guy, though.....
I am alone.
I have my art. It is still an escape. A release.
New situations. New experiences. Old faces and new ones.
Other mysteries. A piano. A presence in the house. The other personality emerges.
A trip to the bus depot. An ending or a beginning?
My new house. What? A lock of my hair? The Powers of the Universe
A message from the future.
A separate reality. What happened? I miss the safe dark.
A second chance. No better. Like the first. Again.
How can this be? And, why me? Must it always be this way?
Perhaps not. Some companionship.
Three lonely people bond together.
Dinner at Mr. Steak. NOT getting thrown out. Birthday balloons. Late night talks.
A storm heralds this one's coming. Remember the anniversaries. Too big to face alone.
A fragment of my soul.....
Time passes. New situations. So much fear.
A young boy. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. He calls me Mike.
Mike? What a mockery. Love. Love mixed with emptiness. Dust.
A perception shifts. Just in time to be too late.
Six hours a week. What do you mean?
A long, dangerous night. A deadly night. The ugly side of reality.
It tempts me. It draws me in. It leers back at me from my mirror.
A new day dawns. I have faced my demons and survived.
KU Theatre. Melting Pot. The Plaza. Houston's. City league basketball titles.
There are some good times. But the truth haunts me always.
How can I prove myself in advance?
Success is my only hope.
Good ideas. But no momentum.
New faces. Too many new faces.
I lose the balance.
Ambulance. Doctors. Rest. Sleepless nights. Empty days.
But safe. Safe. Dark. Cozy.
New perspective. Same old fears.
Other news. Disastrous news.
How much time left? That’s all?
Be strong. Everyone needs your strength now. But what about me?
Sadness. Melancholy. Pain. Tears.
Life goes on anyway. Why does it have to do that?
Worlds of Fun. Parks. The swimming pool. It helps.
A sudden jolt. Unexpected death. Disaster. No good-byes.
Emptiness. Dust. The end of the Realized Masters.
Eulogy. A summing up. The mysterious woman at the cemetery.
A paradox. How can this be? It was meant to be different.
New beginnings. Problems don't go away, but a fresh start helps.
New people, new faces. Coincidentally, some old faces also.
Stabilization. Things get better.
Holidays. Birthdays in Kansas City. Road trips.
Moody Blues. The front row? Cool.
The inevitable finally occurs. Final moments. A chance for good-byes.
I stay strong. But the dreams are there. The dreams that whisper to me.
The dreams provide clues. There is no lock without a key.
Opportunities loom. Or do they? It is what I thought I wanted.
But Topeka? Does it have to be Topeka?
It isn’t right. Problems. Emails on Tuesdays.
A young woman arrives to help. She is help and comfort and laughter.
The problems persist.
A chance to come back. What am I getting myself into, though?
I have to look forward. I reluctantly accept.
Another mistake. I should have known. Every day is misery. Every hour.
Lies. Deceit. Manipulation. Unbridled arrogance.
What? Why? Because you can? That’s it?
The future is a mystery, for the first time in decades.
It will not be easy. I wake up in a panic. Often.
I am comforted. There are nice moments. Road trips. Opportunities.
I have my art. I still create.
I draw. I write. I clean my house. I pay my bills. Barely.
I improve myself. I read. Eat better. Exercise. Yoga.
I look to the future. Do I have enough left?
I am nervous. I am afraid.
I'm still on my feet, though. Still surviving.
I am alone.
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