It’s a Good Day Dammit

well,   they can’t all be the best day of your life
she told me.          why not?    today is the only
day.     zen teaches.     only now.          so,   what if
now is a bag of suck?          what to do with that?
not to beat the drums of pessimism,
baby,   but it’s cloudy with a chance of rain
and we’re looking bleached as flour from staying
inside all winter   —   working nights ain’t helpin,

comes a time you have to be responsible
and take your mood in your own teeth,   bite down hard
and make that bitch bleed optimism as though
it were ambrosia,   which it kinda is,
and smile against the shitstorms life tosses
against your windows,   knowing shit grows roses.

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ecclesiastes and the monkey mind

it’s all been done before,   softly she says,
like the good book tells us.          you can’t reinvent
wheels and gears and all that’s come before,   but
you can do the best with what you have,     and
you can make the best   .  .  .   but again monkey
mind distracts me to these other matters,
tangential concerns as meaningless as
each breath in the grandiloquent fable
that grand pantomime we call existence
dragging on beyond what we long to have:
all our stars tethered and angels wrangled   —
control:   this is the thing   —   o monkey mind
why so impatient and clinging,   why so
desperate in spite of life’s abundance?

david m pitchford
26 May 2012

She and Future

have you ever imagined a future
with me, she asks.      oh, shit, says my internal
warning system, she wants to talk about
us, about where we are in our growing
relationship, this little thing of ours:
is this a fling, an affair,     she’s about
to ask,     or is there something real between
us.          can short term not be real?      I want to
ask, but self-preservation contraindicates
a glib response, and after all, I am
quite ambivalent in this matter, and
aside from that, quite rebellious any time
cornered.          and suddenly the future
opens, we are swallowed into tomorrow.

David M Pitchford
2 Dec 2011

Quatorzain 444

I’m here to write you a poem, Liza,
but my keyboard today is a practical
instrument, and begs to be used for something
more pragmatic; it wants to search the web
for security, for the roots of long-term
employment, a steady income, research
little pink houses and a workaday
stability to offer you. and my heart
begs similar concessions. Liza, what
am I to do? roses cost dollars brought
by honest labor, and honest though these
labors of love . . . who’s to be my patron—
Liza, I’m walking away into my life
knowing destiny holds some answer for this.

David M Pitchford
28 Nov 2011

Mister Nice Guy

so when’s the last time being a nice guy
got you anything in this world, she asks.
thinking about it, I’m curious to find
I never consider whether being
nice works — I am who I am. being me
is the one job in this crazy world I know
I’m qualified through and through to do. so
the question remains, and what to answer.

not being nice, though, always got me heartburn
and a tension headache; going on long
enough, led me to migraines and an ulcer
scare bad enough to permanently alter
my diet. in the end, it gets me what
I want out of life . . . peace with who I am.

David M Pitchford
23 Nov 2011

Change

it’s coming, the quiet before the storm
but what is it we should anticipate:
a mere change of sky drifted over in clouds
and menaced by forks of lightning, cowed
by thunders and fierce winds . . . or something more
metaphorical, more complicated
abstract, human and miraculous, whether
for good or ill or merely for different.

optimism is a peculiar lust
for improvement, driven by faith stubborn
as rooted oaks in fertile soil, desirous
of leaves and grass and summer’s plenty, green
and burgeoning, full of eternity
and hope even in the face of hindrance.

David M Pitchford
22 Nov 2011

Galahad Trips to Tennessee

break me out,     she said.     I will love you,     she
swore.     her letters always brief and to the point.
halfway to  indy from here, barreling
down  i-74 east, my first tire
blew out, shreds of tire across the highway
like feathers from a murdered crow.     changing
the flat took an hour because my car trunk
is full of books and  .  .  .  distracted . . . later,

south-turning onto sixty-five, tank full
and a good station tuned on the radio,
miles melting behind me to distant gone
memory,     rain to clear blue sky turning
to optimism when the second tire blew
and when I got to her house—already gone . . .

David M Pitchford
6 Nov 2011