Saturday, May 21, 2005

These Shocking Days of Mundane Horror

They are subtle flavors on the tongue,
these failures in the midmorning, between
coffee and lunch break, or in the bruised
and blustery evening as thoughts of old,
unsafe tires overcome any urge to
good, where the lassitude of these
shocking days of mundane horror
makes mockery of all the pride we
may once have had.

Small complaints like paper cuts
dwell here, where all the unfulfilled
promises we only alluded to by way
of shrugs in the dark fester, old
and superficial wounds now scars
as faint as phantoms under
cellophane, somehow horrid through
that pale currency of inconsequence.

Myriad small sounds, though, grow
great like the swelling of orchestral
horns in the hollow places within, where
we hoped to be filled with other wonders,
hot spent gasses of burning wishsongs
in a young man’s halting tenor.

These are the subtle flavors, ground hard
against the dry roof of the mouth, the
aching teeth long out of touch with
dentistry, disappointed looks on faces
we had the fortune to laugh with in
better times, when goodness was not
stripped away by the dry wind's
lonesome cry, when we cared enough
to ignore the void places within and the
crawling thought that nothing ever
would turn out properly again, when
we could force out smiles convincing
enough for the uncritical eye.


Bill said...

Firehawk -

"the crawling thought that nothing ever would turn out properly again"

Been there brother... You consistently reach inside and find those places we've all been. Another nice piece.

swiftboat said...


This one took a few days of reflection. It deserved more than a quick ata-boy.

For those with the fortune to live long enough, the conclusion that the best half is spent seems inevitable. I suppose it's a marker for the end of innocence and perhaps one of life's “Necessary Loses.” Necessary in that it helps us face our mortality.

I can't speak for others but in my own case, the middle age booby prize appears to be that the edge of this feeling wears blunt. As the tide of youthful hormones subside, a certain acceptance and contentment ebb in. Complacency perhaps, but also a relief.

Your consistency lately is astonishing.

Stranger Ken said...

At a first reading, I found myself totally in accord with the thrust and mood of this poem and can't agree with Swiftboat at all; if anything, the vision becomes bleaker with age, not less so, for exactly the reasons you offer, that smiling convincingly becomes a good deal harder, for example. I also liked the way your slightly longer lines help unwrap and clarify both your thought and the very intense imagery you prefer. In stanza 1, the image of the "old, unsafe tyres/tires" overcoming "any urge to good" lost me, I'm afraid.

Firehawk said...

Thanks, everyone.

Bill, just trying to tell it like it is. Thanks for the thought.

Swiftboat, I'm glad you've been enjoying the pieces. I guess life is always a matrix of things getting easier and things getting harder. I suppose it never unfolds the same way for anyone. If you can be comfortable where you are, then it's great. If you can't reconcile with the things that are happening in your life, and what's impending around the next bend, you'll be miserable.

Ken, I like the longer lines sometimes, too. It really depends on my mood, I guess. I don't know I think that tactically about line length, other than to try and make it either fit the rhythm or work as a counter rhythm to add drama and uncertainty. About the tires/urge to good was just the expression that we are so lost in the petty concerns of our lives that any ability or willingness to help others is subverted.

Anyway, thanks, guys. Hope to have another one up soon. Maybe tomorrow.

Braleigh said...


I was going to comment on how rousing I find your ability to find scrupulous rythym and flow. This is another work of yours that I was immediately drawn in by, but reading it later, I felt connections that greatly differed from the initial impact of the poem. God, I love that so much.

I dare not disect or interpret your work as your other guests fare, due to my virginal state in the world of literature. Somewhat intimidating :D

Firehawk said...


As always, you do me too much honor and leave little for yourself.

I'm always pleased that someone can come back to a work of mine and have it "turn" on them. If all the associations and hidden hints of language (known to me or not) are easy to see upon the first reading, I think I'd have fallen down on the job.

You're always welcome to discuss, question, or analyze anything I put up. Call me when I'm just spinning out useless bull-honkery, or abstracting in order to hide messy thinking, or just plain pulling it out of the oven half-done. My writing isn't bulletproof godflesh, after all.

...and if you're virginal, you can be sure that I'll be gentle and understanding...

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