Two Poems by Jason Hardung


HEART LIKE NAPOLEON, THE BEAT LIKE WATERLOO

My head lies
against the pillow at night, inside-
the wings of butterflies and black angels beat
against the walls of my skull
like dope fiend insects to halogen parties.
Voices of reason speak out of turn-
all the players and their causes.
Will I finish probation
and stay out of prison?
Will I make it to the promise land
where the cat and the bird will ever be fed,
where I can hear the tide
and the city lights never dim?
Will I keep the needle out my arms
and the warm flesh of her in?
And what about the Earth?
We’ve tapped those veins too.

My heart like Napoleon
the beat like Waterloo-
I watch from a safe distance
as the back of my head blows out
against the wall,
fireworks, red confetti and feathers
cradle each other in darkness
until they rest
in the unswept crevices of the room.
The maid never works on Sunday.
The maid never works
nothing works
nothing ever fucking works.

When finally the light is flipped on
by whoever cleans my mess this time
it will be hard to tell the difference-
between desperation
and one helluva party.

__________________________


IF I HAD ONLY LISTENED

If there is one lesson I have learned
through mostly error
it would be
follow that voice you hear
the one deep inside you
some call it the heart
others call it God
the one that won’t prey upon innocence
the one that won’t speak up
but you can hear it there-
a forgotten memory
the image of an artist
the shy child.
Follow that voice
every time it points that way
every time you try to make somebody else happy
every time you second guess yourself
do not care what anybody else thinks
you will be king.

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