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Guest Poet Jason Daniel Smith

The Difficulty of Caring, The Ease of Contentedness

Nothing like a rain-soaked lover
To make you feel better about yourself.
If this current midnight wasn't such a brat
I'd go out and get me one
Or two.

Please take this pencil and jab me in the eye.
See? I am constantly being reduced to cartoon logic.
But this is the season of get hoppin'
And we've been still life for too long.
Even the clouds know it as they sail abstractedly across a sky
That can never seem to make up its mind.
Goes to show just how much empty space there is
To be consumed.

And yes, I know there is a great treasure to be won
But three riddles are three too many for this mood.
I would gladly do something about it
If it wasn't for my whole anti-movement movement.
I am caught between the here and there,
Trapped in a little box titled other.

I have always been more of a time traveler
Swimming stubbornly through my swampy memory.
Remember that night it was raining like war?
We waited for the bus for forty-five minutes without an umbrella
Only to get off at the wrong stop
And spend our last fifty cents on toast at the diner
Waiting for the war to end.
Sunshine was victorious by morning
And we walked home.
That was the best damned toast I ever had.
That was my favorite you, also.
That sort of situation makes motion appealing to a stone like me.

Tell me when you'll be back
And I'll make an effort to be a human being
But don't tell me now--
The detective is about to reveal the culprit,
My ass has never been more comfortable,
And the night is too apocalyptic for public transportation.
One look out the window and it is obvious
That absence is the order of this night.

Instead I will shut my eyes like ancient doors,
Plant flowers where my dreams used to be.

I'll see you during the rerun season.

October, 2002

Jason Daniel Smith's questions:

The poem is often intentionally vague, though I tried to offset that with a specific little story in the fourth stanza.

What works or doesn't work with the vagueness and why? Is this writing style worth pursuing, or is too much 'poetry' lost with it?

How do you relate the poem to the title? Does it work for you?

Are the three lines that start with 'That' at the end of the fourth stanza too much?

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