Enjoy Life, Old Guy!
Don’t waste your time on self-pity,
go out and enjoy life.
Nobody cares you exist
beyond you paying them.
This is the way of the world.
Don’t waste time complaining about it,
don’t waste energy getting angry
at all your so-called friends,
and so-called family,
for being other than typical
self-absorbed human monkeys
focused on what they want to grab next.
Get in that little red sports car of yours
and go for a joy ride!
Fuck global warming,
nobody cares about it anyway
and never will,
even as Paradise dries out and burns up,
and the cinders of Hell freeze over.
Enjoy your wine and booze.
Your mind will love you for it
and never notice
how hard your heart pumps
or your liver strains,
but it would surely detest
cowering in a dark cave of fear.
Dying is inevitable
and death is not a tragedy,
but dying with regrets is.
And let’s be clear about love:
for most love is pure possession,
it is about being happy to have and to get.
Your legacy is zero,
don’t waste energy thinking about it.
Whatever money not siphoned off
to pay for your American-style death
will be squandered
by your grateful loving family.
All those fine books and precious papers
that you put such stock in
will be tossed out in a dumpster.
All that thoughtful advice
that you lavished on your children
will have long since been forgotten.
After all, they don’t pay attention to it now,
so why expect them to remember it
after you’re gone?
You were an envelope to genetic messages
that got sent and received long ago;
everyone is so wrapped up in their lives
they can’t think of anything outside them.
mothers obsess about their children,
and for them people orbit that obsession,
from tight close orbits of manipulable utility,
to distant cometary ellipses of uselessness.
All you have now is consciousness,
a fascinating gift of temporary duration
which can be so exquisitely delightful;
and you have your self-respect,
entirely in your power to maintain.
What you do not have,
despite illusions to the contrary,
is any right to being appreciated,
to being respected,
to being noticed.
Do you wonder why suicide bombers volunteer?
Love you may get,
there are so many possessive monkeys
grabbing onto theirs
that two wanting possessives
may draw each other
mirrored as attractions.
But, don’t be a sucker
falling for the delusion of self-importance.
The cat will love you just as much
for the bits of grilled chicken tossed in its bowl,
as your family will
for the roof you hold over their heads
and the gold
you carpet the paths of their dreams with.
Console yourself to reality,
then, bypassing disappointment and anger,
move on to contentment
for the remainder of your indefinite term
in Paradise: the here and now.
Après moi, rien.
28 September 2016
Manuel … that’s a startling missive. And not wrong. The parts about other people – that’s human nature you are talking about, and it’s a fact that each person has his/her own agenda. We merge and separate, and merge and separate again while we live. That is a difficult thing, but not a bad one. It is just reality.
Cynicism aside (and I am old enough to be cynical, too), the other message in your poem is equally valid. Live well, find a small, personal niche, and find a way to enjoy it in the brief time that life allows. If we can do some good along the way, so much the better.
Thanks for the nice comments, and the BB’s song, a classic. My car picture (at top) is of a 1935 Ford coupe on the road in New Jersey in 1977. I was doing lots of experiments with B&W then. I shot it through an open car window on a balmy spring-summer afternoon. Among the car culture aficionados a “Deuce Coupe” is a 1932 Ford (Model B), which 4 cylinder model was produced for three years (1932-1934). The 1935 Ford coupe, a V8 model, is also quite popular with car buffs.