Pale Bastard

Pale Bastard long poem

Come back, Pa, I need your cash
The hunger pangs make me wanna chow the natives
You shoulda raised me poor, given me something of my own
You grow into the castle forecast upon you
And I will never have anything of my own, I wish I was crazy so I could
Chop my pinky off in the annals of night and scream
You’d run down and at once bear witness to the horror
But that would be simply stupid, I’d be a few screws up and one finger down
I find, increasingly, it’s impossible to write what I feel
Because mainly what I feel is a lack of talent
The only real thing is doubt, consuming everything, an imitation
Like that nonsense just one page back, freaking horrendous, just garbage
Every morsel is plucked from Happy Days’ reruns, that crap is overplayed
Nobody wants it anymore, they clamor for something, I can hear them
Today I wept at a children’s book, A Terrible Thing Happened
All too familiar the symptoms, the guilt, the nightmares, the hate going nowhere
But nothing bad has ever happened to me, my life is perfect
Maybe a fake abortion here, dependency there, all after something
If I had been molested as a child there would be unity, an origin
But all I get are milky pastures, maybe I saw someone beautiful once
Someone in pain, so elegant, pain, so seductive, so impossible, I wanted it
I saw the four walls and spring rolls and Christmas and I absolutely hated them
Godless tinsel insulting me with an obvious destiny, you shoulda aborted me, Pa
Your greatest fear and vanity come as one to shatter you on the landing point
You knew it the day I was born, marked by a blizzard that halted the exchange of Stocks and goodbyes, things you wanted, you crimson fool, you pale bastard
And when I grew and you could see I wasn’t made for this Earth
Much as places in you, that you hid, suspicious they’d tear everything apart
I never wanted this, any of it, the placating whispers, the unfathomable beauty
All so short, washed away by the crawling tide to feel you and me and the fragile
Space between us collapsing, calling danger in the rapture, returned and flogged
Given to the birds you loved to feed
Even now we wander, we slip up, we mess the bed with foul water
Reserving rights to abandon when we entered this slavery with a dream
There are things I could’ve said, wanted to say, that would’ve changed your mind
Turned you to stone where you stood, but I didn’t
Curiosity my ivy, cruelty my tower, and a nameless ancient hate of the void that
Haunts my body, compelling it to impure things, spitting up your food, burning your Money, training myself to drown in it, be and feel nothing
A frequency beyond the grain to return to and lose this rotten evolution and sail
Away, like the brothers we are in a painting on the wall in someone else’s dream
Costing the wind nothing, it’s cool whim keeping everything from unraveling the way
You did when you saw my face, no black God in drag, no fiery cast of Adam
But you, still and dead and unknowable as far back as I can remember

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Bill Peeler



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