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Quit while you’re ahead
That’s what my dad always said
And it’s great advice
But suffice
It to say
That’s just not the way
I operate
Because my heart won’t cooperate
With my mind
I find
That my heart wants to talk and to love and express
My feelings and quite frankly I detest
The way I make myself feel
Like I’m on the other end of a raw deal
With my emotions spinning like a wheel
Round and around and around and around
My heart twisted and stretched and wound
Up tightly
Nauseous and nervous and anxious nightly
And daily but rightly
Because I have nothing to show
For it
Just a few hundred terrible poems writ
And a growling angsty feeling in the pit
Of my stomach
And the desire to wear a fake smile
At least for a little while
Until the ******* begins to pile
Up again
Until it gets to the point when
I want to give in
When I want to stop caring and let the anxiety win
The thing killing our society
Slowly and surely from the inside
Pushing you down and causing your confidence to subside
Ripping a hole in you so wide
That you’re drained and deflated and fried
And feeling like an important part of you died
But anxiety is never satisfied
It will ruin your life with you powerless and along for the ride
But worst of all: it robs you of your pride
That thing that I’ve always denied
That I’ve had
The thing that I’ve been told my whole life is very bad
Because they say pride is a sin
But no pride at all is skirting that thin
Line between sin and what is fine
What is acceptable
Just because I want to know
How close can you come without being susceptible
To the pride before a fall
Because that hubris is perceptible to all
So it’s your call
Whether you want to stand tall
Pridefully sin and eventually fall
If you have the audacity, the *****, or the gall
Or if you want to let go and step back
And give in
And throw pride to the wind
But be careful
And if you’re religious be prayerful
And even if you’re not
You might want to give it a shot
Because you can be proud
Though the criticism will be loud
You can lack pride
And never have anyone on your side
There’s one more
Stop listening to your inner voice
Stop listening to anyone who wants to keep you down
Stop listening to anyone who wants to see you breakdown
Start realizing you’re worth a robe, a scepter, and a crown
Start believing that you’re sourdough even if you’re wonder bread
Remember all the good things that all the good ones said
And when you finally get there and you’re positive in the head
Take a page from my dad’s playbook and quit while you’re ahead
Too familiar a sensation
One that I could use a vacation
Constantly flooded by thoughts and ways that
I could have done better
But these days that
Go by
In the blink of an eye
It seems that by
The time that I try
To do better I find
That I’ve failed
And if only I could say
that I’ve nailed
Down a way
to rise above that feeling of sadness
If only I could, just once, say I had this
All figured out
If only my actions matched my words in clout
I could, beyond a shadow of a doubt,
Make things right
Take things to new heights
Overcome the petty problems and plights
That plague my every day life
A life rife with strife
Rife with the pain of disappointment
Like a stab in the chest with a butter knife
C’est la vie
Such is life
Mon ami
My friend
But this isn’t the end
If you want we can pretend
That it is for just a minute
So let’s stick a pin in it
And come back when we’re done
Because I won’t let it end ‘til I’ve won
At least one time
(Once is better but time rhymes)
Too familiar a sensation
One I view with indignation
Despite what good can come of failing
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not hailing
Failure as some great thing
That we should all strive to bring
Into our lives and those around
All I’m saying is that failure is worth its weight in gold
Pound for pound
So I’m told
That failure is experience
Somewhere between godliness and expedience
Hastening our ability to grow
And adapt and come to know
The difference between wrong and right
But even if I know the difference I might
Still **** up and that’s okay
I remind myself every day
That it’s okay to fail
It’s okay that you’re in the part of this tale
Called life that you’ll make mistakes
Like rhyming the above with mushrooms known as shittakes
(Okay that was arguably bad
But sometimes bad rhymes are to be had
When you write at 3am despite needing sleep
But you compulsively keep
Writing; you can’t put down your pen and pad
Oh who am I to kid
Everyone knows that I did
This on my phone
Sitting at home eating garlic hummus alone)
Where was I?
Failure and success
A state of being best left to be assessed
By the one who seeks to turn his loss into a win
And that’s where we come back to that pin
From before
The one I said we’d later explore
So heed my words carefully
Or suffer more pain unendingly
Life will never treat you fair, fully
So it’s time to start acting comprehendingly
As in: comprehend what your failures will do
When you learn to use them to become a better you
Because life ain’t fair
Accept that and beware
That life may be unbearable
At times
(Just like some of these terrible rhymes)
But you have to find a way
To grin and bear it gleefully
Because as they say
Mon ami
C’est la vie
This is the end
No more pins, rhymes, or lines
Just a bow
And an adieu
And a cow tow
From me to you
So that you take what I have written
And find the thing in life you’ve been smitten
By and do what you love even if you fail
Even if you whine and moan and wail
Until you’re sick and you grow pale
Until you learn to use your failure as a tool
As a unique stepping stool
Onto bigger and better things
Even if your failure stings
Don’t let it hold you down
Don’t let it make you sad and frown
Let it bolster you to try again
And then
When you inevitably succeed
When you’re at the top, when you’re in the lead
You’ll look back and wished you had read
This poem
So if you have sad friends
Show ‘em
And they won’t be sad for much more
(Just angry for rhymes made in poor
But I promise this isn’t a waste
Of time
I promise this is more than a few words put into rhyme
There’s a point, which is this:
You’re going to try and you’re going to miss
Because failure is an option until it’s not
And when it’s not, there’s your shot
So have a positive attitude
Because life is as good as it’s viewed
—pin removed
i contend
you're still my best friend
there was a lot of good ****
and a lot of sappy poems writ
and a whole helluva lot more
but there were still bad times
and plenty of terrible rhymes
and you walking out that door
cut to your words “can we talk”
as the tears ran down your cheek
and as i turned to walk
away despite wanting to speak
about why you felt you had to go
because you didn’t have to, you know
or maybe you did
who am i to kid
you know i used to wonder
when i'd inevitably make a blunder
i wondered “how long until the day
comes that i drive you away”
and with how much i used to complain
i knew one day i’d drive you insane
and while you might not have been mad
it was clear that you were sad
and though i don't know quite how it was ever true but it was
so i did everything i could to bring you joy simply because
i love you unconditionally, it’s plain as day to see
that you are the world and so wonderful to me
and i'm sorry that needing words was so detracting
but instead of erasing these memories or redacting
them i have decided it’s best to include
all the good, all the bad, out of honesty
i hope that’s not rude
but don’t you see that all of it, beginning to end
is important, to me, my deerest best friend
i know it’s never news but i’ll still always confess
that i love you way more than i could ever impress
just with words or a poem or even a book
more than puns or a kiss or a pointed cute look
and it may not be what you want to hear
not right now, not for awhile, maybe even a year
but i love you
just to be clear
you’re light and you’re warm and you’re wonderfully pure
and i know that i'm certain, i'm one hundred and ten percent sure
you are the one
no joke this time
not even a pun
you are the light of my life
despite all of this strife
and i promise that will never change
no matter how much our lives rearrange
and unlike last time
when i ended without a rhyme
and there was no end to your frustration
you can rest assured and with plenty of elation
that this time, my deer
will be no different
In the wake of a bad breakup, I decided to take a poem written for #her and play with it a bit. Hope you enjoy.
“i set out to find a rhyme for orange
but all I could think of was door hinge
unless you’ve heard of the mountains of blorange
in which case you’re a fool”

and for a brief moment
i could see, for the first time, with my own eyes
the brilliance of that most worn and beaten
orange notebook
it sat there, on the floor
and i could feel its pain
all the years of torment
expressed openly upon the pages within
the anguish of grief
the sadness of loss
the fear and hatred of death
i could feel all of the emotions that had been bottled up inside
and it was simply overwhelming
all of that emotion
locked away inside
held slovenly together
by a single, thin, rusting wire
and encased by a brilliant, tattered, and fading orange cover
i suppose it is only proper
that the cover of that notebook be
one of the few words in the english language
that simply doesn’t rhyme
i contend
you're my best friend
through the good ****
and poems writ
and a whole lot more
through the bad times
and bad rhymes
and remedial chores
despite all the words i speak
and all the feelings i leak
despite how much i bug you
to hear "i love you too"
and how much i mention
i need too much attention
you're still here
you keep me near
sometimes i wonder
when i'll make a blunder
i wonder when comes the day
that i drive you away
but no matter how much i complain
i never drive you insane
you haven't once said you're mad
it's never my fault when you're sad
and i don't know quite how this is true but it is
so i won't look at gift duck in beak because his
**** is what gives us the gift don't you see
that your **** is so great and so wonderful to me
and i'm sorry but thinking of your **** got distracting
but instead of deleting this line or redacting
it i have decided it's best to include
it because it gives this poem character and some attitude
but perhaps it is best to get back on track
now that i've talked about below your lower back
anyway what was i saying, oh yes
i know it's not news but i must confess
that i love you way more than i could ever impress
just with words or a poem or even a book
more than puns or kiss or a pointed cute look
i love you, dear
not just for your rear
but for your soul
just to be clear
it's light and it's warm and it's wonderfully pure
i know that i'm certain, i'm one hundred percent sure
you're the one
no joke this time, not even a pun
you're the love of my life
and maybe one day my grocery shopping partner
for #her
you are the one i dream about
the flower dancing in the wind
you are the love i dream about
what dreams are made of

you are the one i see at night
with eyes like snowflakes
like the ocean just before a storm
green and grey and calm

you are the sweetest girl i know
your smile the most addictive thing
it keeps me grounded through it all
but let's my mind fly higher still

you are the one i call my love
the love of ages past and ages to come
so hold me close and whisper in my ear
i love you, i love you, i love you, my dear
when all else fails, we have our love
i’ve said before, it's like a glove
i'll carry you when you're too weak
down every valley, up every peak
when you're in pain, i'll rub your feet
when you're ocd, i'll make things neat
i'll catch you if you fall down stairs
i'll caress away all of your cares
though you’ll take care of every spider
for i’m the wizard and you’re the fighter
when you need money, my wallet's there
you’d do it for me so it’s only fair
and when it's cold, you have my coat
i'll read you every poem wrote
every line and terrible rhyme
from now until the end of time
matching tattoos i can't wait to get
the showers we'll take, soapy and wet
and even when i overreact
i know our love will be intact
nothing will break the bond we share
for what we have is truly rare
worth more than platinum, silver, or gold
better than any bardic story told
it's priceless, dear, you know it's true
and conveyed with every “i love you”
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