William Taylor Jr.

poems

The Piss and Sweat of All of Those Who Came Before

The day is stillborn

unwieldy
and collapsing
beneath its own weight

the blue sky

just something else
made for other people

something else
we can’t afford

and the bus seats smell
of the piss and sweat
of all of those
who came before

on a day when you
know you shouldn’t drink
but do

what with the world
always demanding

we choose
between life
and death

when we’re much more inclined
towards something
in-between.

.
The Same Fire

With any luck we are given
equal amounts of

days and nights
light and darkness
sun and rain.

We are given our share of
bone blood and skin;

it’s what we do with them
that makes the difference.

The thing to understand is:
every moment

we are the lion
eating the lamb

and the lamb
being eaten by the lion

and hell is found more often in life
than in death.

We all burn in the same fire
whether we know it or not

and in the end

we will be saved
or damned

by nothing other than
ourselves.

Where You Find Meaning

Where you find meaning is your own
business
as long as it keeps you alive
another day.

And beauty, too, is yours
to define;

the sacred carrot to hang
in front of yourself

to keep you moving
when you might otherwise
be still;

to make death work
at least a bit
for its filthy prize.

.
Take Them

The tiny moments of light
that sometime come
in between everything else

are what we wait for,

are what make all the
sad and empty hours
worthwhile.

Such moments come
only of their own accord

and are often few
and far between.

Sometimes
it seems the waiting
is all there is.

It may seem
like a rotten deal
and maybe so

but when they finally come
they are so beautiful,
so perfect.

They are a magic
that trumps even death.

So be patient.

Wait for them
and when they arrive

recognize them
and be grateful.

Take them
and run.

.
Another One

Riding the 38 Muni to work
and every time the automated voice
makes an announcement
a dapper old man
sitting in the seat behind me
replies in a quiet singsong voice:

Goddamn, talking bus.

Ding! Next stop, Geary and Leavenworth.

Goddamn, talking bus.

Ding! On crowded busses, please be mindful of purses and wallets.

Goddam, talking bus.

Ding! Next stop, Geary and Sixth Ave.

Goddam, talking bus.

I get off at 6th avenue and as I do the old man
looks me in the eye and says,

Another shitty day, asshole. Goddam talking bus.

And I couldn’t really argue with the man.

2 Responses

  1. great work bill. kove reading your stuff

  2. really to your stuff bill. take care

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