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POEM: Long Day In America

Painting by Michelle Spark

Long Day In America

shimmering cymbal rises off the stage like heat from the pavement
I’m at a table near the band, drowning my sorrows in a glass of water
or at least drowning, anyway

this is one of those days when I wish I drank, something strong and obliterating
that would wash it all away like a sand castle falling to high tide

I come back to reality for a moment while the bass player looks for a chart
a course through the tune so he won’t get lost
I wish it were that easy

these are the times that try men’s souls, then stomp them with boots made of
and unfulfilled potential and disappointment

two tables away a guy is talking loudly, so the band turns up and he talks louder
so the band turns up and he’s shouting, and eventually an old man in a natty suit
leans over from the next table and tells the guy to “please shut the fuck up”

maybe it’s the language, maybe it’s the old man’s audacity, but it works
a hero is born

saves me the trouble of driving my rented U-Haul truck right through the front
smashing the moron to a pulp, smearing the carpet
with his like-new brains

there’s no way to summarize all the things you are on paper
but that doesn’t stop people from trying — my life is a bulleted list
in 12-point Arial or 10-point Times New Roman if I’m feeling professional

I’m bored and terrified, can’t focus
lose the form of the song, even an easy one

my eyes are burning

Published in My poems Poetry


  1. Mom Mom

    This is a wonderful poem, but it’s breaking my heart. I love you.

  2. there’s often anger in your poems but it’s usually very measured. this is wide open and raw. keep going in this vein. it’s good for you.

  3. Dad Dad

    Good Morning Butch

    I can only imagine how hard yesterday was for you and Jen and the boys.
    I loved your poem and hope that over time the under lying tone will improve along with your health. Maybe if you looked at today as the first day for the rest of your life, with the past being practice, reality will not be so overwhelming.
    Wishing you good health and love…..DAD

  4. That is pretty RAD Jason…

  5. Taneen Taneen

    Kanashii….Jay,to your ongoing strength in the face of adversity. If it helps, your openness helps all of us who don’t have your gift of expression. While trite, “shikataganai” seems to fit. xo

  6. Thanks, Taneen. I appreciate your words of support very much.

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