scarecrow poetics/essays

Sunday, March 11, 2007


A Pretty Typical Day . . .

I woke up yesterday as a curly-haired young Bob Dylan,
all charming and profound and full of life—pre-media
almost and really just learning
how to write a song

But the day turned out to be filled with all sorts of obstacles:
a leaky showerhead, a dead battery in my truck, a nasty email
from an ex-love I finally admitted I still loved
more than a little bit …

And so by around noon (mainly because of memories stoked
by her) I’d very much shifted into Iggy Pop mode:
crazed craziness
with where are the drugs
and the love needs expression
taking over
to the point where for little spots of time
here and there I really thought I might die
and that that might be OK, even while I
most definitely was enjoying my pain …

Until around two when I managed to get some of my strength back
and mutated into a snidey Johnny Rotten semi-bucked-tooth
scowl-and-glare guy, more English than I’d before ever imagined
I could be (but in reality mostly just a pose, not quite me)

I then somehow turned into Bono for a while: self-important,
all knowing and all loving and holier than any Thou—powered
by a profound foolishness and a deep down shame of
what I’d become and was becoming …

By around four in the afternoon the overall trauma of the day
encouraged me to slip into a full-on Lou Reed reality:
speedy and paranoid leave me the fuck alone black leather “toughness,”
while of course demanding that everyone acknowledge that I’m still
king of the pack, still way better than they could ever be …

But events suddenly allowed me to pull myself
out of this mood too:

I found a five-dollar bill in the gutter by my apartment building
and then several minutes later, as I was walking down the street,
a beautiful young Mexican girl smiled at me,
warm and truthful and happy—

and because of these events, I suddenly became all clean
melodic Joey Ramone geek-style happiness inside despite
my outer weak points,
a state that lasted until I got
into bed that night …

It was a pretty typical day in other words, a day that caused me
to realize (as days like this usually do) that in many ways
I’m an amazingly romantic man:

I’ve always believed in poets

and believed that they
should sing

Robert Woodard © 2007.

ROB WOODARD was born in Anaheim, California in 1964 and raised mostly in the nearby Long Beach area. After graduating high school, he dropped in and out of various community colleges and worked mostly in restaurants in southern California, Hawaii, and Australia, while taking breaks to wander aimlessly across big swaths of the globe. During these years he wrote consistently in search of his voice as a writer. Frustrated by his lack of progress, he returned to school and eventually obtained bachelors and masters degrees in anthropology from California State University, Long Beach. After a brief stint as a college professor, he returned to working in restaurants and writing. Burning Shore Press recently published Heaping Stones, his first novel. What Love Is, his second novel, is scheduled to be released by the same house in the summer/early fall of 2006. He is currently writing poetry, book reviews, and a journal.



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