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Trying to Get Over While the World Drags Me Under

By Adrian S. Potter

PROMPT — Ask Me.

Ask me for honesty and I’ll supply more truth

than you could ever handle, candid confessions from

a wayward lovechild of adversity and willpower.

This plagiarized version of existence is not quite

the salvation that was promised. A false positive,

with sparse chances to salvage contrived hopes

from amphetamine manifestos. Meanwhile, my spirit

bellows out its familiar blues: brokenhearted exaltations,

psalms of anxiety consumed by everyday tragedies,

and the down-and-out doctrines of daily drudgery.

Against my better judgment, I’ve been feeling too much

for my own good – so let me become numb to that

up-in-flames feeling. Darkness cracks open too easily,

like the careless thighs of a cheating wife. I’m terrible

with explanations but you deserve the whole story

instead of half-baked excuses. Continue scheming

to break out of identity’s prison, but it won’t happen

by listening to the naysayers who keep overstretching

my elastic soul. It feels like I’m no longer the protagonist

in my own life story. Come daybreak, I’ll again revolt

against my savage luck, become a willing conduit

for tapdancing intentions. The moral of this fable

is to find a way to leave them guessing. You’d pay

good money to hear me croon my deep-voiced lies

in the face of obvious facts. Claiming everything’s

going to be all right, trying to get over while the world

drags me under. The struggle factory is under construction

but open for business, always. Let’s label whatever happens

from here on out as destiny, use my narrowing vision

to help me scrawl reluctant memoirs onto barroom walls.

I’ll be magnificently drunk underneath judgmental spotlights,

flipped inside out, stumbling, off-kilter. I’ll shine gloriously

like a streetlamp after sundown, brazenly chanting

the party won’t stop, knowing it always does, eventually.


Adrian S. Potter writes poetry and prose in Minnesota. He is the author of the poetry collection Everything Wrong Feels Right and the prose chapbook The Alter Ego Handbook. Some publication credits include North American Review, Obsidian, Jet Fuel Review, and Kansas City Voices. Visit him online at


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