The Man Who Won’t Work

On the night
I had nearly died,

Things just
Slowly made sense

About living this down
To my parents,

My wife,
And family at large –

There were traces
Of building resentment
With truths
Like lingering judgments
In accumulated sparks
Now fires
Never put out
Though we tried.

I heard how
Relatives laughed
And cursed my mom
Over phone calls,

Telling her
She was the failure
For creating a son
Who was worse.

All because
I never held jobs,

Or can’t make dimes
Fighting illness,

Not even one cent
With these poems
Which I’m glad
Such greed hasn’t touched.

But with pride
Comes death via art,

Their gaze
And hatred through silence,

A cost of pursuing
These muses
Who killed me by words
Getting hard

For the fuck of prose
Chasing whims
Where God hides life
Seeking beauty
Behind all lies
Making money
Until sickness comes
With its wrath.

Just wasn’t my sin.

To them,
It was suffering madness
Since abandoning ways
Better practiced
For securities
My spouse should’ve had-

Yet doesn’t
But loves me the same
At least until pain
Becomes steadfast,

Obscuring our love
Due to changes
These aging shells
Have imposed.

Is a limited gift.

I feel that now
Between heartbeats
Skipping so much
They might end this

While people around
Think I’m nuts.

You know,
Perhaps that is fate.

Poets should fall
Being crazy.

The ambulance called
Never gets here.

I’m forever
The man who won’t work.

  • J. Pigno

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