Will You Still Love Me When I’m 64?

There comes a time in every poet’s life when he looks back at the past he once considered the present, and knows the future according to the laws of probability probably holds fewer and fewer gifts of the realm in his own name. Full stop. This then is the perfect time to step off the brakes, and let go of that long, windy howl that even the most unlikely linking of barking mad poets, Allen Ginsberg and Dylan Thomas (throwing in good Mr. and Mrs. William Blake for good measure), managed to break wind long enough to issue us a life sentence behind the bars of human decency, insisting that we bellow forth that most authentic human act left standing between ourselves and the dark whishing gutteral spirals of protean nature left untended.

Proteus, it has been said, was the original master of disguise. This ancient Greek avatar, the grizzled old shepherd of Poseidon’s most circumstantial sea creatures assembled from the deep drink, possessed the gift of prophecy but as a quirk, he didn’t like to share his knowledge, and would breezily escape into the sticky mists away from the charges wanting to pester him for one thing or another – by changing his shape.

Even that sickly Norwegian painter Edvard Monk knew a thing or two about what finally shook down the tenacious Jackson Pollack when earning his own skewed stipend of dignity on the fly. Yes, this permanent record promised us throughout gradeschool in the 1960s is expected to shatter into thankless shards no punk worth his salt could reassemble. All the nurses and their doctors have been summoned. No more hiding like a jostling hand of energetic young brown thrushes in the salt marshes of Glynn reanimating the youthful sprite I had once been. I am to be judged by a jury of my peers. Today is to be a long ample gluttony celebrating the facts and fictions of a biker poet turned painter.

No longer overwhelmed by feigned ambition, I must now stand and deliver with authority. The old school Scenewash Project has been obliterated by an obscene series of self-defying miscarriages and collapse. Only the Way Back Machine will ever track the man I once aspired to be. The record will now rest here. And there.

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