Tag Archives: poem

Friday – Out-of-whack

1115081732, originally uploaded by scottobear.

Forgotten image taken by BHK on our trip to the Baltimore museum with Alice. I actually rather enjoyed the giant magnetic poetry room.

Still feeling a bit out-of-whack, but getting there. Did walkies today, and we made it to the post office, goodie shop, and candy store – maybe not the most healthy way to go for a nice constitutional, but I do love the sponge candy.

see also –




out of whack (comparative more out of whack, superlative most out of whack)

1. (idiomatic) (generally) Wrong, broken; specifically:
1. Not in proper balance; unbalanced.

our priorities have gotten out of whack

2. Not in proper alignment.

the floor is so out of whack that the door hits it when opened

3. Not working or operating properly.

banged up left knee is out of whack

Alternative spellings

* out-of-whack

Usage notes

* The unhyphenated spelling is usually used predicatively, and the hyphenated spelling usually occurs when the phrase appears before the word it modifies.

Writer’s Block: A Favorite Poem

some days are easier than others.

today was not one of them.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole;
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced, nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade;
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll:
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.


why does she clean herself
so frequently so thoroughly
working so intently, preening so carefully?
there’s little or no dirt there
her ministrations have little impact

why does he scratch himself
so roughly so fiercely
biting so hard, straining so long?
I looked and there wasn’t anything there
he was probably doing more harm than good

why do I reveal myself
so freely, so fully?
trusting so deeply, opening so wide?
was I vain enough to think it made a difference?
was I proud enough to think there was value in it?

Do I do this
because I am a creature of instinct,
or to prove that I am not?

And will I ever be clean?


it wears cut-off jeans,
a twice-torn shirt,
and hiking boots

it’s callused like a woodcutter
and it’s as hard as the night is long

it’s a sawed-off shotgun world, friend
and you’re looking down the barrel

it doesn’t have any mercy,
it just keeps on turning,
and swooping around the sun,
and never does it stop
or pull a punch

when you fight your way up the stairs
every morning
and get on the treadmill
you start to wonder
if there’s anything to it
besides the fiction and the friction

sometimes you are lucky enough
to go too fast
or catch a new song
or do anything that
just for a moment
lets you forget the turning

when you are so blessed
thank the harmony
and the speed
and all the bottles of beer

there wasn’t much poetry in them
but at least they kept the shotgun
out of your face for a time


A candle
has burned black
down to a nub
and vomited wax
all over my desk.

I look at the placental remains
and I wonder

If I had enough warmth
in my breath
If I had enough skill
in my hands
If I had a new wick
in my pocket

Could I pry up the wax
and mold and roll
and repair the path of flame?

Funny, it’s always the easier
the unopposed choice
to buy a new candle
to burn down again.


At times I struggle valiantly to find
The word or phrase that I think best will scan,
Will show emotions known to every man,
Or ones that all men hope to never face.
To search a realm that none have ever trod,
Where everyone has purpose, known to God.
To seek a string that leaps with vibrant song,
And find such, out of mankinds teeming throng,
Inside the soul of some forgotten clod.
Or, by weaving words as spiders silk,
Create a shadowed corner in some forgotten space
With its own mores, its laws, its loves, its ilks.
To find the words which best describe this place
And strike the hearts of readers with their truth!

I need to tell exactly how I feel,
And fill some soul, some person with my zeal,
Emoting it in every shape and kind.
I want to lend my seeing to the blind,
My thoughts and voice to tender to the dumb,
My trust and hope to those who cannot find
These in themselves, and then act as a guide
To show them what they all posess inside,
Abilities and joy beyond their dreams,
And bring these to them with only a word.

Yet, when I try my work oft seems absurd.
I can’t unlock the demon that’s within
And set it loose to set me straight again.
And Conscience cries to me “There is no use
In trying to continue this charade.
All that you do just furthers your abuse,
You pitiful pretense, you thin facade!
How dare you speak of, in such glowing words,
What your eyes have not seen and ears have not heard?
How dare you speak of love, of hope, of joy,
That you have never felt, experience true?
You go beyond yourself, you foolish boy!”

To which I then reply “What is your base
To tell me what ideals I can’t embrace?
Though I have not experience in these,
Insight leaves them bare as winter trees
T’inspect, and find the processes which mold
all human lives, the young, the mad, the bold.
And Insight shows me how a man may feel
When he has gained a friend or lost a love,
When he has learned to hurt or learned to heal,
And what he might think of the stars above.
Insight shows the paths that each must take,
The sacrifice and choices each must make,
Unveils the threads common to every man,
Their origins, their branches, and their plan.

And though my insight is of small respect,
That little is enough to understand
The smallest part of Man’s infinite range,
And with creativeness to twist or change
The circumstances governing a man,
Or put my place in his, and circumspect
The world he inhabits, then reflect
On what I’d do if I were in his stead, his head,
Or ponder what he did or thought or said
Until I find the thread that links it all
To some universality, some call
We all feel, whether fought or taken in,
Whether it is of duty or of sin,
And transform this to words with but a pen.”

There is no knack to this, no secret rite,
It just is writing simply what seems right.
You don’t write, the thought writes you,
And not the priviledge of chosen few,
It is something anyone can do
If they have the will to understand
The threads that run through each and every man.

I am breath and plastic,
and no predators
wait in the tall grass
and no men come to burn my village

to make me grow meat around my words.

The time of sharpened bone
and polished bone
is long past
and will not come again.

But I can see my heart:

it is hung huge in the sky
reflecting the world, mapping it
for my eyes

it is sprawled high in the mountains
beating the darkness, splashing it
toward my feet.

And in a time
without kings or carvers

I know I can follow
misty sliver
or meandering stream

And remain not safe
not safe
but awake in the night.


She squeezes the grape, rolling and crushing
until it is seed and skin and pulp and wet
spread on her palm,

She reads the mess like tea leaves
or the entrails of a goat.

She sighes,
brushes it off on a pants leg,
and does not reach for another too quickly,

for she has a whole bag,
and I and the bench the whole day for her.

We can always catch the world
when it comes back around again.

More of the same…

April seems to be determined to squiggle out of going to the doctor. I pushed a little today, mainly because I feel that she needs to see him. Latest excuse (of many) is : I want to wait until I get paid to go, I don’t want you to pay for it. Heck, I told her, I spend hundreds of dollars on her for frivolous stuff, the important stuff, if you want, pay me back. Nope! No dice. I should just blow it off, but I’m concerned for her well-being. I also have to make an appointment with the doc about my bronchitis kicking up again… (Teach me to date a smoker. bleah.) Well, at least Newton is healthy. Actually, on thinking about it, I’m going to hit the doc sometime after friday, I’ll call and make an appointment now. The best way to lead is by example, right? Hm. Here’s some more wirting for those of you that don’t care about the Scotto-soap opera. but first a mini-rant. My pal Alex moved to San Jose a few months ago. He assured me that we’d stay in contact, etc,etc. I saw him on AIM once and he was quite brief, then took off. From what I understand he’s still in frequent contact with Heather, daily, I think. It sort of irks me, but it falls into my current situation in ‘meatspace’. If a person moves away, and is not bound by blood ties, I lose contact with them. I don’t know if I attract lazy friends & aquaintances, or if it’s just the way things are, but I thought that friends kept in touch? anyhow, enough of that noise. I met Erin last night here, and she’s a pleasant and witty girl, who shares my interest in gigglecam, and all things nifty like that.

And now:


If you took all the hours
I should have been asleep
but wasn’t

And added in all the hours
I should have been awake
but wasn’t

And multiplied by all the things
I missed, or messed up,
or did halfway
because of the above combination

You’d have wasted a lot of time
counting the cost for me
which is kind of ironic

After all, I’ve already paid the toll
for my time in shadow.

poetry genreated by cmdrtaco.net, from this site


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