In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Fuck Contentment

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A moniker for good living, 

this fear of discomfort, 

ever drifting toward ever-comfort,

called contentment. 

Just give me this or that–

this president, 

this career, 

this amount of money, 

this family, 

lover, 

mother, 

neighborhood–

and everything will sail, 

Cadillac shocks across

the fresh asphalt forest floor.

If I can be comfortable,

just end this struggle,

this pain and anguish,

strife, 

this ambitious striving,

I will be content. 

I once knew this

 instinctively. 

“Contentment is death,”

I said at solitary 14.

 The day I am content, 

all juices have dried. 

The day I surrender, 

turn from struggle, 

un-face the tick of the clock, 

is the time to lay down,

take peace to a deep hole,

dug in my own backyard,

or in an abandoned dirt lot.

I am neither hero nor warrior. 

Just thirsty, 

a third rate ecstasy vampire,

seeking small electric bites, 

a taste of the powerful, 

the blissful, 

and the sublime. 

To touch the electrified wire 

to tolerate the charge, 

where it sparks,

risking pain and death,

beats the static hum

sounding the heated surge,

only the pulsing effects,

not the beat itself. 

I remember reading the poet:

“I want to write what marks me,

gets me killed.” 

I wondered if I did too:

stop fearing, I thought,

stop warning safety, 

stop honoring caution 

and forego the refrain,

letting shit fly and scatter, 

roam and bust, 

fling and crust 

and curdle like dying, 

like spoiled cream, 

like decay and wither,

the words, let them

paralyze, plunder and poison,

let them arrest a heart, 

gore truth from a bloody lung,

a festering bullet hole to the brain,

let them burn

and gnaw

and lacerate;

let them disrupt dreams

and torture sleep.

Let them brand flesh,

singe hair and spew bile.

Let them upturn content-

meant to pacify and please.

Let them fist screams

and tear at vacant stares.

Let them drown dun breasts

and poetic gentility.

Let them beat the fuck out of you

–and me too.

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