Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Biggest Fan


This poem was written in response to
A contest that asked
People to write a poem
About the most important person in their life
Their single biggest influence
The one who has made them
Who they are today.
For me, there is no question
Who that person is
And though I am not usually inclined
To writing poems for contests,
Knowing that this could be an opportunity
to finally express how grateful
I am to this special person,
How I wouldn’t be here today
Without this special someone
Made me very eager to write the poem,
Which I hope when you read
Will at the very least
Make you think about the one person
Who has inspired you the most in your own life.
Because there is a special someone
In all our lives
Who was there for us not only through the good times
But the bad times too.
The person who made us who we are today.
This poem is about that special one in my life:


No one is my biggest fan
No one has been there for me
Since the beginning
And when I was feeling more than a little lonely
No one was always there
To listen.
And those times when I needed someone
To talk to
Quite badly,
So badly it could have been just anyone,
No one always came to the rescue.
No one was there for me 
Even during the bad times
When I was broke and depressed
And could barely even project
The illusion of being alive
When I didn't even think that much about sex
Which is when you know you’re really depressed
That’s when I could always rely
On no one being by my side
And while you’re other friends
Might seem more than eager to stick around
when you have some good jokes to tell
or some reasonably priced coke to sell
It's always when you have nothing
Left to give
No more jokes and no more drugs
That your friends seem so hard
To get a hold of
and so you find yourself staring for hours
at your bedroom wall
or wandering like a bored, indoor cat
through the halls
but just when you're about to lose faith in everything
just then
No one calls
Reminding you what you always knew
that you can always count on
No one coming around
When others are nowhere to be found.

And if I so much as stub my toe no one grieves for me
No one unconditionally
Believes in me
No one even likes when I sing Karaoke
Especially when I am drunk enough
to think people will enjoy me singing the entire score of
My Fair Lady or Gypsy
or Brigadoon
No one says my voice
Can really carry a tune.
And now that I am reflecting on it,
And pondering it from all sides
I don’t think I could have written
Without feeling no one’s presence
Near me at all times.
And not only when I’m writing poetry
Or songs or plays 
But how strongly I’ve felt no one’s presence
Beside me always.
I think if I had too choose
I would say no one is my greatest muse.

And during those times 
When I felt quite inspired
To walk away from it all
When the loneliness you thought you had
Flung from your hand for good
Seemed to always be returned to you
with the exactitude of those machines
that bring back your bowling ball for you
when I was quite tempted to just release my grip
and watch everything I own
float up into that shiny blue dome,
like a child has who has grown quite bored
watching his kite chained and controlled
by the string in his hand
so he finally
to just
The thought that always kept me from suicide
each and every time
Was how terribly torn up
No one would be if I died.
It just didn’t seem right
When I took into account all the grieving no one would do
And so I decided to keep on going
if not for me, I would say, 
then for no one.

And when I was really doing bad,
During those rocky times-
And I know you’ve been there too-
When the world has ground you
Into pudding
And you’re pretty much willing
to believe in just about anything
so long as it’s not true
and you’re pretty much ready to pray to anyone
just to have someone to pray to
And it don’t matter if it’s Oprah or Dr. Phil,
Zoloft, Prozac, or any of those other
Wonderful pills,
Or a Horiscope, or a whore you groped,
Or something you saw on Acid in a
Or a quote on Facebook
or a line someone said
When you were looking for help outside your self
In all those self-help books you read
It’s always then that I would remember
no one once told me:
That even if it feels as holy as the Holy Grail
Always be weary of the things people say
When they’re followed by a bill in the mail.

And besides,
No one always gives such wonderful advice anyway
Because no one knows what’s good for me.
No one knows what I need. 
No one knows where I’ve been
and no one knows where I need to be. 

And when following no one
Believing in no one
Being with no one
Becomes a little…
A little tiring on the soul
Like on those nights when I’m ploughing
Through a pack of Marlboros
On the patio of my Parent’s house
And I know pretty soon there will
Be no more quarters or nickels
Under the couch in their living room
For me to buy cigarettes with
And no more forgotten credit cards
In the glove compartments of their cars
For me to get drunk at bars with,
And I’m thinking how rich I would be  
If I had a dime for every dollar I owe  
And I’m a disappointment in the eyes
of everyone I know
On those nights
when listening to others
has made me feel weak and dumb
that’s when I always remember
how much better I start to feel
when I go back
to listening to no one.
Oh it’s always so much easier to breath
When you’re breathing in the presence
Of no one.

And on the nights when I find myself asking
How can my life possibly get any
Worse than this?
and right as those words are flung from my lips
I look down to find that I just stepped
In a big pile of shit,
That’s when no one always comes out of nowhere
To laugh at God’s little jokes with me.
No one agrees they’re all so witty
Each one a turd you step on in the street
Right after being convinced your life can’t get
any more shitty.

And on those days when I start to fear
That lately there’s been a bit of a distance
Between me and some of my closest friends
Who I haven’t spoken to in a couple of years
Or when I wake up in the middle of the night 
With a pounding heart and a sweaty head
And the intense certainty
That nothing is the only thing waiting for me
Once I’m dead
Or when I’m lying drunk on some neighbor’s lawn
Watching the sleepy eyes of the sky
Flutter open to reveal the dawn  
And suddenly I start to see so clearly in each faded firefly
That I’ve been lying every time I tell myself
That my love for her has died  
Oh those are the times when I really get to hear
No one sing such comforting lullabies
About love and loneliness and life
And death and loss and doubt
No one has such great advice
No one can tell you what it’s all about.

Oh, I admit,
it’s not always a bed of roses,
This love
I give and get from the only one
Whose ever really known me.
And there have been certain nights
Certain nights when I’m drunk and high and
tossing empty beer cans on to my front lawn 
and I feel quite strongly
That I’ve been where
No one can find me
For far too long,
When suddenly I am a bit tempted
to go run and hide in all those places where
no one is no longer the only one walking by my side
To run and hide in the comforting shadows of a church or a synagogue
places where you can always find a friend
or at least a friend in God
or apply for some spiritually rewarding job
hoarding weapons for the next Jihad
with other lonely men
whose loneliness is so bottled up inside
they could blow up at any time
or get a job at a bank refusing people loans
or join a rock band that’s looking for someone
who can play a mean guitar   
on his I-Phone
or a part in a play
provided it’s not a one-man show
or make those lasting friendships that only a Fraternity
can make for you
and in the process learn things about friendship I never knew
like if you want to earn it, you really have to pay your dues 
or seek solace from this crazy world I’m living in
with fellow crazies in a loony bin
where we can all go crazy in a million different crazy ways
far away from people who are way too sane
or join A.A. or N.A. or any other anonymous organization
where the first thing you say is your name
or join a volleyball club
where I can finally get some sun 
or join an Internet Dating Site
where people make connections through their inability
to make connections with anyone,
or shave my head and join a monastery,
or stop at just a crew cut and suit up for the marines or the military
or, if I’m really looking for something ruthless,
take part in the bloody, political maneuverings
of a University
but it’s always when I’m going through these myriad
options in my head
that no one gently reminds me
what all self-reliant lonely men
have always known
and all self-reliant lonely songs
have always tried to tell you
that when it comes to walking
through this world
it's always best to do it
with no one right there beside you 
if only for the satisfaction you will feel
when, in the years to come,
once you have finally crawled out from the other side 
of that tunnel you’ve been trying for some time 
to crawl out from
and someone asks you
how you managed to make it here
who did you depend on for guidance
through all those gloomy years
who kept you going through the world
when you no longer thought the world
was something worth going through
And you can tell them
With more than
a little pride
just who

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