Happy National Poetry Month! Today’s 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30) poem comes from Joseph LMS Green, the featured poet of tonight’s Open Mic Poetry at 5th & K!

JGREEN

Talk Ugly
by Joseph LMS Green

The last time I saw you alive
I wish I would’ve talked ugly to you

Said “Put the straw down, No,
I don’t want to take another line
I should be writing them, my friend,
You are a composer of music and magic,
Instruct your limbs to serve a purpose greater
than self-indulgence,
Don’t be fooled into thinking your pain
has sharper teeth than anyone else’s,”

I had a chance, but
said nothing

because I was high

This is how I got started;
A bottle of Jack and a mirror, memories and scissors,
dreams drenched in ether, sliced by razors,
Potential rolled like twenty dollar bills,
Poison numbing feelings on the tip of my tongue,
that I and this tongue should be serving a greater purpose.

In a last ditch attempt at self assessment
I looked at my life through eyes of loved ones,
they can see everything, especially the ugly,

From hours of masturbation to years of drug use
To lying with and lying to angels, friends I’ve forsaken,
Taking so much more than I’ve given,
streamlined self-centeredness to a science
But there was also righteousness there
A willingness to craft these ills through poetry and alchemy
Into a seers stone

Honestly, how could I speak ugly to him
When I was yet to speak it to myself
In these nightmares of hindsight
There is no poetry, no alliterations to soften the blow
Some realities have no simile, truth is like truth

Not all suicide is a tragedy; some people
just don’t want to be here anymore,

When you were alone in that room
kept company by narcotics and a thousand ghost
draped in your disappointments
I can only imagine the voices you heard
All but mine

Smear make up onto disgust
if you must, trust, the truth is seldom pretty
But she is always beautiful

In times like these I need you to please
talk ugly to me, because truth splinters bone and pride,
rips through flesh, ego, and sinew in hopes that one day
it will heal together again, stronger

My pain needs not a gentle touch,
too many times we caress sadness
when it needs to be shaken, torn from its place of comfort,
forced to survive or die,

Don’t just tell me I can grow up to be whatever I want,
tell me that whatever I want
better be something I’m willing to achieve, That dreams
will dissipate under the weight of addiction,
that there’s a distinct difference between living
like a rock star and being one,

no matter how many poems you’ve written, sometimes you’re simply a coke-head
and a poser,

Fear not, we are divinely flawed individuals
perfectly ugly, no point hiding behind pretty lies

we are the sum of the hideous scars that hold the remainders
of our pretty pieces together

That last time I saw you alive I wish
I would’ve talked ugly to you

It would’ve be the most beautiful thing

I never said.

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