Poem

George

George was a poet and a good one.
He could blow you away with the things he wrote,
even if you didn’t really understand them.

George was a poet and he drank — a lot.
I loved George — and I hated him.

Once he was drunk he would wrap his arms
around himself and sit there grinning
as he rocked gently back and forth.
Drink was George’s opium.

He lived in a two-room loft with
vaulted ceilings that were so vaulted
you didn’t even think the ceilings were there.
It was as if there was only air there

George collected things — crap mostly,
stuff he found in free boxes or just lying around:
odd colored Post-it notes, mason jars, stuffed animals,
belts, hats, discarded radios, used pens.

George was brilliant — and an idiot.
His idiocy was his brilliance.
George was a poet and I eventually left him.

A former lover of his came by one day — a man.
George was bi I guess. Either that
or he slept with whomever he found in his bed.

This former lover was a handsome man,
gray hair, chiseled face, a pretty smile.
He had two children with him.
Probably grand kids. . . or not. . . I don’t know.

I was sitting on the toilet when one of this man’s
kids came in, didn’t even hesitate,
just ran in, twirled a stuffed ferret around their neck
like a feather boa, and then ran back out.

George was a poet and I loved him
and I hated him because he didn’t
love himself enough to spend
more than the first few hours
of his day sober.

I don’t know why, but the last
day that I was over at George’s place
I didn’t say goodbye, I didn’t hug him,
I just peed on his doormat and walked away.

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Alyson Lie

Alyson Lie

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Alyson is a writer, editor, meditator, and dharma practitioner. She lives in Cambridge, MA.