Alex River

Rookie (New York)

Who In Hell Are You? - Poem by Alex River

So who in hell are you
To decide anything in my life,
Tell me what I need to know
Or what I don’t need
Who in hell are you
When all the trust we had you’ve
Squandered like some slot-machine junkie spends
Quarters in Vegas,
Who in hell are you to tell me I should be your friend, when you’re
No friend of mine
But surround yourself with simpering and
Mirrors and those
little hotel-soaps and sachets
And Chanel the wrong flicking number

Who in hell are you to tell me what I can or cannot do, for a song I’d
Bleed you dry and turn you back into some small-time Jesus
Sobbing for the world on some
Soap-box in the park,
Move on move on they’d say to you, I say to you,
I don’t want you any more and I say it without apology,
Without defending my decision or any more bankrupt words of love
Unsupported by action
Hanging like a stench in the sweet air.
Cos Brother, once lover you owe me big-time
Owe me more than your whole flickering life
for the time I’ve wasted
on you.
And when the time comes for you to pay the debt
That you owe me, owe, will always owe me more than your cowardly
Arrogant and patronising sliver of a life is worth,
More than the sun owes God for its titanic, burning existence
devouring time
and gravity
When that time comes and again you are full of fear
You’ll see
What it means
To stand alone.

And here’s to all those poets
Who only need cancer to start feeling
The loss of life, that final blow-job, swelling their last months
into poems and at last
Seeing the preciousness of being alive and
Every blessed breath
Here’s to the end of your shrunken lives
Where you have lived all right,
Thinking of no-one
Hurting and wasting and crushing those who cared for you and about you
Breaking promises and faith and giving nothing at all for others’ feelings or time
or dreams
And living off the sweat and efforts of others your betters and lovers
And their time and labours and the fruits of their time and labours,
and you
Eating off the floor like dogs and caring only for coupling
Like dogs
And licking your balls
If you had them
Now the cancer eats at your insides.

And now you realise
There’s a world out there
How much it needed you
Your strength your effort your time your energy your love your commitment to
Anything beyond your sad little drunken self
And all you did with all those years was live
Like a dog
Like dogs
And howling like you are now
About your lost loves and years and how much you felt it all
Won’t bring a blessed thing
Not another life, a breath
Or even a moment.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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