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Scott Malby

Delinquent Confessions

       The Bronze Age followed the Stone Age and can
       be generally classified as a disastrous progressive
                               Paolo Honorificas 

Delinquent Confessions

From Lord Weary's castle 

not far from Hardscrabble Creek, 
the distance isn't great
to the old pioneer graveyard 
where damp spring weather 
impales on blades of cemetery grass, 
dampening the souls 
beneath this grave diggers feet 
who kicks gently at each tombstone 
so intent in his task 
no resident bothers him 
though many rise to wonder, 
is he searching for a soul mate?
And if he were to find her
would she be  angel or ghoul or both?  

She was brilliant
She was caring.
She wanted me to tell her 
I loved her, but I couldn’t. 
I played with fire.
I laid burnt offerings
at her feet. Stuttering city 
of lost excuses 
I've paid my dues, 
made you fabulously rich. 
Were we to take human truth, 
slicing it like pie 
and each person fed their portion, 
would any be wiser?

Let's be clear

It was a summer of paranoia.
It was Sunday.
We were at war.
Well washed congregations
dressed wooden effigies of Christ
in a soldier's uniform
and buried Him
up to his crotch in cash
while down the street,
off of Pennsylvania Avenue,
the real Jesus 
just back from Iraq
wearing a dress and sandals
doubled up in pain.
And people avoided him.
And I didn't stop to help. 

When I was born 

a DNA jury was convened, 
a sort of roving focus group. 
Kid, they said, you're going to be
a small town hustler, 
addicted to casual sex, 
gambling, impractical schemes. 
You won't be able to help yourself.
And I couldn’t. I was a brat. 
My father was Emperor Ego. 
Everywhere he went 
he handed out exploding cigars. 
My adolescence was glandular.
It was all cranberry.
I took the low road
filled with windy rumors 
in from the Pacific agitating
both raven and gull in me.  
As I grew older
like a headless horseman riding 
a headless sea 
my lust bound me in chains, 
tying ringing alarm clocks 
to my mafia thighs.  
From Oregon to California 
and back again, from Easy Street 
to Ocean Boulevard, 
it's a long way back 
as I lurch ahead like a doomed bus.
The anarchy of my heart beat
my umbilical cord of hope.
Now, I'm served cocktails
at the dining table of life
where the cock in me crows 
wicked tales up from my plate.
I sought to steal from Summer 
its heat, finding instead 
the nearer I came to its fire,
it was life and love 
we both whispered out,
gleaning burning scars
and skyscraper dreams,
and these small jewels of light.

© 2005 Scott Malby

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