“Rivers ebb through my heart. Rivers of regret, love, passion and fears.
Rivers rush through my heart. Rivers of blood, sweat, tears and fire.
Blood pools in my heart. A pool shared by ancestors of past and future.
And we all share something small, and I hope it is a shared bless, not a shared curse.”
How many times have I wanted to RIP that poem off the wall and throw it into the lake?
But I haven’t. It’s a pretty poem. And I don’t even like poetry. I know a lot about it though. The old man forced a bachelor’s degree worth of information on me over the years. He always called my comics my “little sketchings” and said they were not true art, that they are too shallow, and couldn’t understand why I didn’t pursue poetry or novel writing. Well, now his poem hangs over my desk where my “little sketchings” are born and win awards and sell out. Why do I keep that poem here?
He was a bastard. A right proper Irish drunk bastard. He was a lot like this whiskey; bold, fiery, bitter but with hints of sweet caramel. At least that’s what the bottle says, but who can taste that shit? Not me, all I taste is bitter, but with an odd lingering after effect that makes you want more and more until it leaves you high and dry on the bathroom floor.
Mom always liked him, and whiskey. Maybe she just had the taste for it and could get to the sweetness under the fire. Or maybe she did it for the drunk.
I don’t know why he wrote poetry. Perhaps he thought it made him good somehow. Like all the yelling and beating went away when he wrote. He put so much time and passion into it and it showed. If only he put that much time and passion into us. He called us his greatest poems, but I don’t see it. I don’t see where the love is in us the way it is in his poetry, just look at this one. It shimmers with his tender words; I never did. Maybe that’s why I keep it. The only tender part of my dad that I have, or ever got.
(He hears his daughter’s bedroom door open. He gets up to close and lock the door to his study then sits back down.)
Is it morning already? I must have stayed up working all night again.
(He sips his whiskey.)
I vowed that I would never force any form of art on my children. They can do whatever they want whether it’s painting or music or writing. Whatever art they wish to pursue.
That poem really is the perfect poem.
(He hears his daughter in the kitchen making breakfast)
I guess I should get to work. This little sketch is almost ready for the world.
David La Ponsie is a writer, student, and manufacturing machinery technician in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He lives in a haunted house with his beagle named Jack. David has lived a life of great variety as a freelance journalist, a member of the United States Army, a boxer, a van-life hippie, a standup comedian, and a poet. Recently he has focused his attention on his tried and true passions; writing fiction, performing standup, hiking, and taking care of his furry friend, who has been through so many adventures with him. To keep track of his latest projects, follow him on Twitter @DeadWord4