I wake up with a sudden start

My eyes crusted

Heart pounding

I cannot swallow

A large pill of sawdust in my throat

A tachycardic engine in my chest sputters

Anxiety scratches my eyes red

Outside a garbage truck spills bottles into its cargo

A screeching, clanking, electric fire of hot steel twisting in my brain

 

My mind unravels last night

A hopscotch of memory

A toxic brownout of music and conversation

A brownout strobe light

Memories with the edges chewed off by the dog of alcoholic haze

 

I may have found love last night

That blonde on the dance floor

All eyes were on her

Eyes all focused with a concentrated gleaming

A  collective spotlight

I sidled up

She talked to me

It was deep and long

I am great at the deep and long

Then I forget it all by morning

 

I may have been the fool last night

I spilled my sacred musical insights in a preemptive strike

Then the cascade of confabulation

Word salad

A great conversation with that guy in the bathroom mirror

 

I may have been the tough guy last night

There was the purposeful shoulder on the dance floor

And the idea to slam dance

The ultimate dance with the bouncer

Just like that I kiss the pavement

 

Some men saunter off into a woman’s good graces with effortless ease

Others draw out the pheromones

Only to stomp out  a rain dance all over them

Kick-start a one night stand

 

I may have been the philosopher poet last night

Five bourbons and I rummage through my closet of profound thoughts

Adequately oiled they rise up from their bed of nails

Ideas coated in that  sawdust permeating unused library wings

Pendulums swing  in my brain

Blocking light in a metronomic rhythm

It is here that my impish soul lives

Masquerading and doused in the dope of limelight

A  conversation about parallel worlds

And the gravity of loss

The breadcrumbs lead to vomit by the pool table

 

I may have been the drunk last night

This is a fair turn

This gives me the most pleasure

The most despair

Just as the lies to myself succeed more than lies to others

The drunk is the seed-kernal

The zygote that becomes the embryo

Spawning the masks that look to the next curtain

The curtain always falls

 

When the bouncer reopens the door

My interior voice dives into the church hymnal

Drowns out all the imposters

The strobe lights

The blondes

The guitar’s melancholy meditations

I begin to find a small opening

A crack of perception

It fans the real into a bolder shape

It suffocates my wrongs

I walk slowly away from this and into an unfurled way of being

Maybe the morning terrors will dampen

Maybe morning sounds will charm love out of seclusion

 

I may have been the false man fighting for an identity

A person I found in the offices of what others want and like

Only now I am a man

A man without knowing and without power

Only a man

Whose disguise and  words return to the dusty attic

Locked tight

Maybe someday I may walk where other men walk

And simply listen to the voice that tells me to understand

And to love

Then someday I may become the man who wasn’t there last night.