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 http://adrianspotter.com