Muth Labben

ben muth labben

Today is for counting my wasted yesterdays
Each one neatly lined up
row on dusty row

Every year the same

Today is for remembering your unborn tomorrows
And the time I sit
because walking is too slow

There is no blame

Today is for pretending to make sense of the past
From a life ended
with nothing to show

When I speak your name

Today is for thinking that memories last
But all they do is fade
until they go

Like every unfinished song to be sung
About the death of a son

Copyright © 2012 William S. Friday

If You Were My Mommy

angry mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you were my mommy

I would have punched you in the face

before the age of eight

No parent should sound like that

while talking about someone

who came from their womb

Not to strangers

not to friends

not to cops

And not out loud

on goddamned speakerphone

at fucking Starbucks

 

Copyright © 2015 William S. Friday

John Stephen Akhwari

 

john stephen akhwari 01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t keep up with my own life

let alone the lives of those around me

The lives of those who love me

and God forbid

of those I love

Without meaning to

my life has become the image that

haunted me in my wide-eyed post-adolescence

Of the Tanzanian marathoner

John Stephen Akhwari

who finished last in Mexico City in 1968

Yeah

just YouTube it

The point is

I want to grab onto life

hold on for all I’m barely worth

Or run

with endurance

and the speed

not just to finish

but to win

Yet on days like this

and most others

it is all I can do to look at life like a

bandaged

limping man

sweat-drenched and bloody

shuffling in the dark towards the finish of a race

long over

but not for himself

Who

when asked why he did not quit a race

long-lost

said

“My country did not send me five-thousand miles to start the race.  My country sent me five-thousand miles to finish the race.”

And so

I look up

into the near-empty stadium

and to a victor’s stand

long since abandoned by those with medals won

and put one more foot in front of one more other

This race almost done

Copyright © 2015 William S. Friday

Older and Frailer

frail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I avoid thinking about my childhood

Unless someone asks me to tell them

Why I am the way I am

And then I’m forced to

Or I lie

 

And usually

When I talk about the distant past

I spend that time remembering my dad

Whose influence always finds

Its way to the surface

Of my thoughts

The quickest

 

He would yell when he got angry

Mutter when he knew he was wrong

And condemn

When warning me against things

That could lead to harm

 

But as he got older and frailer

With age and a failing heart

He also would

Own up to his yelling

Muttering

Condemning ways and speak

With genuine contrition

 

Until the last night I saw him alive

And I knew that he

Loved me more on that night

Than on any day

Which had preceded it

 

Copyright © 2014 William S. Friday

One of These Things

SONY DSC
photo credit uvalaw.typepad.com

Johnny Cash covers

will never be better than

covers sung by Johnny Cash.

 

A home run watched

from the fifth deck at Dodger Stadium

will always be better than

listening to Charley Steiner

call a home run

on my car radio

no offense Charley

you’re not Vin Scully.

 

Sex without love

makes you common

love without sex

makes you a fool

sex and love together

makes you a porn star.

 

Copyright © 2014 Bill Friday

DICHOTOMY: A brief meditation on the two poverties, as viewed through Dadaist metaphysical thought.

dadaism lucDOTdevroyeDOTorg
“Dadaism” luc.devroye.org

The need of nothing is not the same as the acceptance of nothing, no matter what it looks like when written… or read.

I need nothing.  I accept nothing.

Not the same.

The well-groomed man.  Lexus LFA Nürburgring.  Pair of Barker Black Ostrich shoes on his clean feet… No socks.  He has everything in this world, and nothing.  He needs nothing.  The homeless man.  Shopping cart.  Pair of Converse Magic Johnson basketball shoes on his dirty feet… No socks.  He has nothing in this world, and everything.  He accepts nothing.

Full car.  Empty heart.  Empty cart.  Full heart. 

They are NOT the same.

I have been neither homeless nor rich.  I wish to be neither.  I have needed nothing.  I have accepted nothing. 

And I prefer it. 

 

Copyright © 2014 William S. Friday