it's better not to have
those rules of conduct
that bind the man
in a relationship?

so he is free for what exactly?

to pound the night streets
under neon window lights
among the windblown ladies
drunk and shrieking
spilling their kebabs.

to sit all day underneath your window
uncombed, unshaven, dressing
gown exposing pale chest and
shrivelled cock that only stirs
for pictures on the internet

listening to voices passing
no responsibility to anyone
just let the dishes pile up
the crust of beans'll still be there
when you don't wash it off tomorrow.

you're free to chase women
you don't want to catch
the supplicant forever, perfecting
an act of nonchalance that finally
will seep into your bones
until rejection doesn't matter
it's just a game with sex
or banal chat over cocktails
with some braindead idiot the prize.

nobody can tell you what to do
it's like the bedtime wish
of sullen teenagers come true.

and all the while there's a trapdoor
yawning underneath your feet
and creeping thru the open hole
is Death


Bobby said…
Hello Bruce. Lately I've been finishing all of my sentences with "and some day I'll die."

"I'm going to work now, and some day I'll die."

"It's almost lunch time, and some day I'll die."

"Alright! It's Friday at quitting time, and some day I'll die."

"I'm going to the bookstore, and some day I'll die."

No shit - I'm doing this. Not voluntarily.
Anonymous said…
To be perfectly blunt ...

A choice is to be made.

Many of us decide that appearing pathetic is worth being pathetic (and vice-versa) because we get poetry out of it. There's quite a lengthy list of us by now.

But it is my belief that we all know, at some point, that we are making a choice to bed Pathos. And some of us will even proclaim that Pathos is a better lover than a warm body which can produce hot breath against the skin.

I think this is unfortunate for all those involved!

(Happy MLK Day tomorrow)
Anonymous said…
Bobby, my condolences to your family, in advance of your possibly untimely demise.
Bruce Hodder said…
If more people played that game they wouldn't waste their lives pursuing things that don't matter.
Bruce Hodder said…
Hey Chick,
The tone of the poem is meant to be ironic, or even critical of the presumption that the speaker questions at the beginning. I don't know if I made that completely clear. What he's doing is questioning someone who's just stated that being outside of a relationship is better because she's more free, and outlining what he thinks the alternatives are. As in "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"--which it is.
As for pathos--well, I think there's pathos in everybody and everything. Our existence is all Chaplinesque lostness, whether we're lonely old drunkards or sweet old couples still holding hands as they cross the street after fifty years of marriage.