from a poem in progress

i am not Prufrock—i am not half-dead
with rolled-up pants and thinning hair on my head.
i am still too young to face the dread of tea
sipped out of flowered porcelain cups; i am free
for i have only lived for half as long
as the man the Modern Bard depicted in his song.

i know not of beaches, i know more of sleet,
and mermaids were not the visions would keep
my lusting wincing through to the hells and tomes
of a series of ranch-style homes;
my visions of beauty were tinted by the rains
from ugly smog from flames of jobless pains
so any girl that could take the water
was one that flame my poetic fodder.

i do not scuttle—i tread where i walk;
but still i seem to prance more when i talk
(according to the lecturers to whom i speak
when my eyes are not looking down or full of sleep—
it is the lot of being my age, i suppose,
to skip the awakening breath the clears the nose
that prepares us always for the day—
but in our beds we'd rather much stay).

i am here—i cannot come and go
for if i go, my grave will let you know.

because i've got a mane so thick upon my head,
i am not Prufrock—i am only quarter-dead.

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