Posted in interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry

Finding My Way | Patrick Connors

Finding Myself

Strive to change the world
in such a way that there's
no further need to be a dissident.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Poetry as Insurgent Art

Rising up from deep within
the very core of my being
the essence of who I am

underneath my public image
is the need to find myself  
someone to admire.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti spoke the words
the world needed to hear
at that exact moment.

Best of the Beats
because he promoted the rest
above himself.

Paragon of enlightenment
inspirer of a new way of being
artistic role model.

Ferlinghetti would have loathed
such titles based on what
little I know about him.

He would have frowned 
if not downright sneered
at such fanboy foppery.

In the same way 
many reading or hearing this could be offended
by words like humanist, socialist,

countercultural, malcontent, protestor,
activist, freethinker, nonconformist.

In the Coney Island of My Mind
—or, more accurately, Exhibition Place— 
I get to play with words

turn image into meaning and back again
with enough musicality to form a poetry
of concise language and complex thought

imagine these words 
making this world a better place
at least for a moment

and believe if I say them with clarity
and integrity for long enough
you may just listen to me.

Prisoner

I have lost my voice.
The only word I have ever felt beating
in my heart, echoing through my mind
has been taken from me.

The other prisoners 
hiss and whisper the words
the broken-hearted cannot say out loud
and leave me in solitary silence.

But I know why.
They don't understand
the burden I am bound to carry
and must keep hidden deep inside.

This burden keeps me alive.
It gives me passion and purpose
and is the only thing I have
which is real.

If this word trapped in my throat
found daylight at the tip of my tongue
I would sing and shout, laugh and cry 
and my sentence would be complete. 

If I could see her again
make love to her slowly and gently
if I could say her name once more
then I would be free.

Middle-Aged White Men Are Ruining the World

The Saturday bus ride to Morningside is so much better
than my weekday drudgery along Sheppard
up whichever connecting route presents itself
to get me east on Finch to my workplace.

Everybody is in a better mood, more courteous
more concerned about others around them.
They are on their way to fun excursions, or shopping
to meet their needs, as well as those of whom they love.

The Morningside bus ride south is even better. The bus takes
longer to arrive, but the driver wants to chat and be part
of the community, part of your day. Everyone makes room
for baby carriages and people with canes and each other.

But not LAST Saturday.

A guy about my age got on the Morningside bus with his two sons.
Two stops later, a kind enough looking guy, clearly down 
on his luck, maybe hadn’t eaten in a while, entreats 
the driver to let him on the bus without paying.

The guy about my age turns to his sons, shakes his head,
saying, “The driver let him on the bus for free.”
The two sons were at that age where their view
of the entire universe was filtered through their father.

What an entitled, arrogant, self-righteous, ignorant…
What kind of legacy are we leaving behind?
What kind of world are we leaving for the children?
What else can we teach them other than right or wrong?

I wondered how he would feel in the unlikely event
either he or one of his sons were in that predicament.

Try

the world tries
to tell me
I am something
I am not
and I fight back
and I lose
so I try 
to be what they say
they want me to be
and I succeed on their terms
for a moment
and then the moment passes
so I try 
to be myself again
and I fail
and then I try 
something different
and I fail
but the failure
seems to be 
the shit I must get through
so I can
finally grow up
so I laugh
not a maniacal laugh
merely a buffer 
against the underlying darkness
which tries
to overwhelm me
but 
I rise
try to clean myself up
and realize 
this is the day
I become
a little more
human

Patrick Connors’…

…first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013, and charted on the Toronto Poetry Map. Other publication credits include: Blue Collar Review; The Toronto Quarterly; Spadina Literary Review; Sharing Spaces; Tamaracks; and Tending the Fire. His first full collection, The Other Life, is newly released by Mosaic Press.


©2022 Patrick Connors
All rights reserved


Quote from The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot

April in The BeZine Blog


Author:

Be inspired… Be creative… Be peace… Be

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