The Perks Of Being A Gooseberry
Of course I want you
To be happy; but if that
Makes me feel worthless,
Unwanted, like a
Discarded Evening Standard…
Now I’m not so sure.
Maybe if your world
Were to fall apart, if your
Most perfect union
Were to crumble and
Fall about you in ruins,
I might feel better.
But what would that make
Me? Fucked up as I am, I
Still do love my friends.
To abandon that
For naught but schadenfreude?
I may as well be
Dead. If ever I
Sank to such depths, I would not
Deserve to live.
Be happy, my friends.
Some day I might be as well.
Till then, be happy.
‘I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.’ – Walt Whitman.
I believe this is from a letter Whitman wrote, but I couldn’t find the exact source. I’d be grateful if anyone could enlighten me on that point (or indeed enlighten me if it wasn’t in fact Whitman).
Polemic poetry: for when seeking out the relevant person is simply not worth the effort.
Sorry for the lack of activity recently, I normally try not to go more than a week without a new piece but for some reason this one took a bit longer than normal.
Thank you for caring enough
To take the time
To tell me you don’t care.
What gets me is why on earth you bothered.
Did you think I’d be crushed, that I value
What someone like you thinks?
No. What eats at me is all those times
I did look to you after telling a joke
To see if you were laughing.
Or found my opinion shifting from one pole to the other
The minute you opened your mouth.
Once you made me despise myself,
But now it’s not even worth my time to despise you.
The circle is complete.
‘There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there’s only one way of being
comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make
up your mind not to be happy there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a
fairly good time.’ – Edith Wharton, The Last Asset
A little defeatist, yes, but I thought the point about not trying to pursue happiness (to paraphrase the Declaration of Independence) was worth sharing.
I Want You In My Head
Why would you want to waste your breath on someone who
Knows nothing deeper than a fucking Hallmark card?
I’m not much of a catch but at least with me you’ve
Got half a chance of a decent conversation.
So drop the platitudes
And lazy half-rhymed tosh
You had saved up for some
And sing me a song that
Shows you actually care.
Sing me a song that’ll rip me to pieces, or
Just don’t bother singing.
Now is your chance to get yourself into my head
And live there forever.
‘The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.’ – Friedrich Nietzche, The Dawn
You Will Be Happy
You will be happy, my girl, this I promise you
From a broken mind to an absent heart.
I’m not going to send you a card.
I’m not going to bring you flowers.
No worthy truths, no fragrant lies,
No mockeries of life can help you, now or ever.
But I will not abandon you.
I will not leave you to your pain,
I will not stand by as you fade
To a colourless distant shade
Known by the clanking of your chain.
We shall share my wine,
We shall swap epigrams
From poets even more messed up than us.
And we shall cry and laugh and cry again
And for at least a while
You will find your heart, I will fix my mind
And we will be happy.
‘Think where man’s glory most begins and ends / And say my glory was I had such friends.’ – William Butler Yeats, The Municipal Gallery Revisited
On the off chance that anyone involved in UCL’s production of The Trojan Women is reading this, hearty congratulations. I saw it tonight and was very impressed.
Why’d You Lie, Mr Simon?
Your words will not save you.
Your collected works and rhyming dictionaries
Will not fill the void. Though what you create may be
A friend for the lonely, a solace for the ill,
A ray of light for those who walk in gloom,
They will hold no comfort for you.
Who’s to say that you will even live to see
Your books half-read on the tube,
Your poems half-remembered in stuffy classrooms,
Your music half-heard and used as a backbeat for the amorously ambitious.
No, your words will not save you.
Only people can do that.
‘Being an artist doesn’t mean that you’re a good artist. That was the bargain I first made with myself: I’d say, I’m an artist, but I’m not really very good.’ – Paul Simon
There’s hope for us all yet. Once again, Paul, thank you.
Tonight is a whisky kind of night. Would that I had any worth drinking.
What Shall Life Make Of Us?
“If we cannot be lovers,
Let us be friends,” she said.
“If we cannot be friends
Let me write to you instead
Whenever I have cause to feel alone,
Apart, ashamed of who I am
And what I’ve done.” “Frankly,”
He said, “my dear, I do give a damn.
“If your heart bursts with joy
Or is rent with pain,
Or shame, or if you blame yourself
For every ill in every day
Of every friend you have; you may
Write to me. Always.
“I know this is your lot; let it be mine
To help you as you walk your chosen road.
Lover, friend, or confidant: whatever role you’ll choose for me
I’ll play it well, if you will only help me bear my load.”
Let us go then, you and I.
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.“
– Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan