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My Period As A Gutterpoet: 1996-99

Updated on November 4, 2009

Several examples of my earlier work . . . there are many more


this is all pulling me under

this could end up lasting too long

this inertia . . . this quiet panic

this could all end up the way I want it to

but I know my pattern of experience too well

this is a test

this is a test to see if I can really function in this world

this society . . . this room . . . any room


but this is not just anywhere or anything

this is this

this is all blown way out of proportion by this mind of mine

this could all end here

but this will only end through action; this action

whether this action is taken by this person or myself is determined by this thing called fate

fate . . . too complicated

that is, too complicated to deal with on top of this

this is taking up too much of my energy

I need someone to take me away from this

this place and this person

and tell me that this is not worth worrying about

that if this is meant to happen, as in fate, this will happen

this is too nerveracking

I must take action to end this one way or another

but I can't take action . . . not this action

this is too much for me

this risk I'd be taking

this is bending me into this uncomfortable position

this is unbearable, this feeling, this thought

this hurts me so

but I'd rather be dealing with this than go back to that

I can't do that anymore . . . that complacency, that loneliness

that empty hole that can't be filled, except with this

I'd rather do this, I feel much more alive when I do this

this one thing that could change my life or prevent it from changing

please don't let this burn me

and make me go back to that.



I wish I knew what it was like to live without the hurt

I wish I knew what it was like so I'd know I'm not missing anything

although the hurt reminds me I'm alive it still hurts so much I can't think

it hurts to breathe

it hurts to express

it hurts to feel, for now

I feel way too much

when you feel too much or too deeply, it always hurts

no matter what

I always feel too much, so I always feel the hurt

so much so that now and again it knocks me down

no matter

I just get back up and find a way to love again

no point in doing anything else

an individual's life is too fragile to wallow in the hurt

better just accept it

I chase love every time, even though I know it will hurt

more than the last time, but I know I can't take away the hurt

I need to feel and I always need to feel too much

if I took that away it wouldn't hurt to breathe for I would not be breathing

it wouldn't hurt to express for there would be no expression

and it wouldn't hurt to feel for I would feel nothing

I just wish I could forget the pain, even if for no more than a moment

just to rejuvenate my senses

cling to joy for a short spell and prepare to hurt again

I'll always hurt

but what numbs the hurt is when I find someone else

someone who the hurt has gotten to even more than me

for once, I don't think of the pain

I think of healing the pain suffered by someone else

a lost cause? maybe

hopeless? I hope not

I look at you and I see the hurt breaking you

but I just can't sit by and watch you suffer . . .

(Dedicated to Michelle, 1978-2003)



still bored

but too much has happened for me to be bored

maybe I'm just old . . . old before my time

found I'm not really true to anything

just the avoidance of complication

attained, yet not attained

not at all simple, yet too simplistic

but I suppose I'm not really bored since I've never really been excited . . .

and frustrated from seeing boring people

take center stage to do boring things

to cater to all the other boring people

who were bored before

when it was just their boring selves

boring each other

with boring talk

about how bored they were

the last time they went to see a boring show

by the boring person they're about to see tonight

who they'll be completely bored with about halfway through

and they'll have to go somewhere else and talk about how bored they all are

such a lifestyle must be so boring

not only are you always bored at school

obnoxiously bored at the DMV

painfully bored at your grandfather's 75th birthday party

relentlessly bored at group meetings of any kind

hideously bored visiting your rich aunt who's in the hospital for breast enhancement surgery

substantially bored when you're detained on your way to somewhere a little less boring

frighteningly bored with something some people find not so boring

and dreadfully bored when you're in a wonderfully chemical-induced semi-catatonia

and get stuck talking to Perry Como on the train . . .

well, time to go now, let's go get bored.



I never expected to get this far

when I met you I never expected to kiss you

when I kissed you I never expected to feel you

when I felt you I never expected to make you, um, arrive?

and when I made you quiver like that I never expected to fall in love with you

and when I fell in love with you I never expected you to love me

and when you fell in love with me I never expected to be inside you

now, I have been inside you . . . and you inside me

I'm still inside you, and you're still in me

I couldn't expect it to get any better

but it keeps getting better, and better and better

I'm free falling into nothing and there is no bottom

floating freely with my stomach up in my throat

I feel so lucky that I never expected anything from you

for if I did none of it would've ever happened

you were so pure I felt I could do nothing to corrupt you

now, I have entirely corrupted you

and you are still pure

you're perfect

your perfection glows to me

and you let me touch it.



I never thought it would go down like this

that one day they'd all be strung out and without a hope

without a care and without a single soul

to care enough about them to turn them around

we can't go on if this kind of hurt continues

it hurts the party, hurts the movement

makes us vulnerable

neutralizes our ability to resist power

can't put out the fire when you're choking on the smoke

but for the better, right?

the world's too crowded anyway, right?

you can't save every junkie

especially when the recovery people so have their hands full

it's just that these are the people that used to feel

had heart and soul and now . . .

it just hurts so bad to see them in such a void

a harsh emptiness . . . a distinct vibe

but still nothing

people who once loved everything and everyone

so long as there was free will for someone, somewhere

now they are all dead

which wouldn't make me feel so sad

if not for the fact that they were still breathing.


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    • profile image

      klarawieck 6 years ago

      It's beautiful. Congratulations.

    • rosescottw profile image

      Rose Scott 8 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      "...It hurts to express..." Keep expressing - as you express, though you walk alongside the fire that burns, you get pass it. I see your naknedness. You are not afraid neither are you ashame. That is because you are so beautiful and pure. You give us food and drink. You let me know you care. You are here to help others. And I will be by your side for as long as you want me to. You are not alone. You will never be alone Jonathan. We all need you. And I am so happy you are here. I have missed you so greatly.

    • Jonathan Janco profile image

      Jonathan Janco 8 years ago from Southport, CT

      Shalini and Sweetie Pie, thank you both for your critiques. I'm flattered you are both so impressed.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      One day a hundred years from now someone could derive great inspiration from your poems. Keep up with the great writing.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Some very powerful poetry there! Look forward to reading more of your work.