Apparently I was having a self-pity fest when I wrote this.

The Crab Nebula in Taurus, courtesy ESO

JCD Kerwin

sometimes i find myself
standing waist-deep
in linguistic shit.

i never said i wanted to be like Kerouac,
or Ginsberg reading Eliot and
cracking jokes to a strung-out William Lee.

i just wanted to hold something up to glass eyes
worth more than dilapidated statues
torched and tagged in my mind.

i saw my whole future once
in a pocketful of sand,
but i let it blow away in words
i heard when i was young:

You’ll never be a wordsmith star.
And Bradbury wouldn’t care how far
You want to go.

i can’t form any semblance of sentences
when my mind’s an opium den
of ego-hipster’s ten-dollar words
i don’t fucking recognize.
the stuff i spew must only equal
a pot of verbal diarrhea no one
wants to hear.
i write the shit i know
and that’s the law i live by.
but that ain’t gonna do
when no one cares for
the dream i stupidly built in play-doh
when i was nine.

city lights can’t give
hope to a broken country kid
with nothing worth to give.
or at least that’s what the corporate jokes say
when i let them tear my heart and say
“no thanks.”
and you know, i think they’re right—
i’m an idiot to think
my scribbles will save the world.

(‘cause words are the only thing
that defines our world and
tie us to each other;
but words can break you
and make you feel
like you are nothing.)

it’s damn hard to be strong
when the person you’re afraid of
is yourself.
i’m the only one
who hates and loves
what literary vomit
scratches paper from my pocket
full of stars.

i’d suck a stick and sit
with left-over writers
wreaking of bourbon and cigarettes
if it meant
i’d get
some reaction to the pity
i give myself.
(it makes me want to shove
a pen into my eye.)

but i’m on autopilot;
i still try.
i follow heroes in my mind,
even though i know
they’re made of stardust i captured
when i thought i caught my wish
somewhere back in time.

(Spring?, 2011)


Back Door Theology in a Whiskey Glass

**Disclaimer: Contains R-Rated and otherwise controversial content**

Back Door Theology in a Whiskey Glass
JCD Kerwin

I caught snowflakes on my tongue
once upon a time in July,
when the air cut like razorblades
and eggs fried on my brain.

I saw Jesus in a snowflake
when I was seventeen
and Jerry Garcia in a peanut
at twenty.
They both said the universe
isn’t all that large
and Andromeda is not that far

At twenty-five I’m still thinking
about Jesus crackers
and pot leaves
fighting over the world.

I think God is a heroin addict
and It’s laughing at Man
running around with palm leaves,
and back-seat-driving Pope-mobiles.

(I think the Pope and the Queen
go fucking on the weekends
because the Devil makes them
do it. After all,
It’s got candy that’s enticing
to all us lollipop kids.)

I can’t seem to drink enough
to become an alcoholic,
but I’m still too inebriated
for AA to accept me.
I’m chasing horses out of bottles
lining shelves of “just another pub”
in some weird corner of my world,
and I’m not sure if this time
God will take a moment
to join me.

Lord fucking knows
I could use an omnipotent psychiatrist
like God
to sort through the mental shit
I’ve shoved in dingy closets

I don’t believe in angels
but if I did, I’d tell you
one has Irish eyes that glow blue
when they’re laughing, and
they saved my fucked up soul
from monsters in my head.

(Those monsters would make me
their marionette if I let them, but
when my Indigo turns Blue
they stay away and I don’t have to pray
to Jesus Garcia.)

And maybe if there’s Heaven,
it’s right here on Earth,
trapped between the Nowhereland
and Almost There that we’ve created.
They’re our excuses for Paradise,
but maybe Eden’s not man-made;
maybe you can’t find it in peanuts
or grape juice at the altar.

(I don’t care to know ‘cause I know
it’d just frighten me and
I’ve got enough things to be afraid of
looking in a mirror.)

I’m content to walk beside
the same jackass human beings,
because maybe someday
it will all make sense to me…

And I think Jerry might be smilin’,
snortin’ coke with Jesus,
while I’m down here laughin’,
‘cause I found an angel and Paradise
before them.

(April, 2011)

Because It’s That Kind of a Day

JCD Kerwin

They call me Mista Jazz
‘cause I sparkle with all the razz-
le dazzle and the speed you wouldn’t believe
Speed Racer never tried to beat.

I’m a picture-perfect stately heir,
so debonair with an austere air,
as I straighten up my tie that lies
in strict conviction that I’m better than I am.

I’m a fly guy—
a pussy cat you can pet, you bet,
if you get past my clicking claws.
I’m a dandy Sam, a Dapper Dan,
who watches winding watches ticking in my hand
just to manage something
left behind by a more worthy human.

I’m not the best that you saw;
I’m just a jackass behind the walls
of the jail I created from the fables
I tried to make you understand.
I am an arrogant little prick who licks
my wounds when something doesn’t go right
in the perfect little world I created
with words meant to water down the lies.

And I broke the hearts that wanted mine,
that I never took the time
to bother with because I wasn’t
ready to love someone far more deserving than I.

(Don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror;
can’t comprehend why Blue thinks that I’m a winner.
Makes my heart feel like melting ‘cause
I’m just a worthless windup wretch
who grasps at bones to make myself feel better ‘bout
the mutt I spy in puddles.)

I’m just a wannabe in words,
a whore of language, left languished
on a stuffy mattress eaten out by lice.
Will never be a puppet poet master or
a fury fiction maker like the gods
who line the dusty shelves of libraries in my mind.

Can’t hurt to try,
to get by,
twisting words around like acrobats on wires.
Perspire—mix water droplets on my head with blood I burn in fires—
as I try to climb the catacombs of courage
I buried down inside.

I’ll try to fly,
to spread wings broken back in time,
and see if words can hold the meaning I always
thought they did, in dormant domino lines.

To wait for the kick is just to stall,
so I take the buck and crawl
away into the sky…

My wings might melt in fire but
at least Blue wings will catch me
when I fall.

(December, 2011)


JCD Kerwin

“I don’t care if you wear your hair
like young David Cassidy or Demi Moore in Ghost.
Though, I like it longer ‘cause
you look a little funny when
you’re grabbing at nothing while
you’re screaming palindromes in the dark.”

In another life I
was named after Jeremy Finch.
I’m defined as “renegade.”
I’ll hit Mister Radley’s door and
take off like I’ve got wings on my sneakers.

I’m not scared.
I can do whatever I damn well want to do.
Let’s play Grown-Up Truth or Dare.

I’ll make papier-mâché horns
and tie them to my head so when
I’m called a monster,
it might finally be true.

“You’re slightly insane, I think.”

(I think they’re right. I know it.)

It’s not because I write or
I’ve never felt alright;
I just don’t know how to walk without
leaving my shoes untied.

Now I’m squishing in my Chucks because
I dove into the deepest end
without looking.

The life-jackets fell over and
I’m falling because I counted to 100 but
no one’s answering the name I call
when I look into the mirror.

“You just haven’t found yourself yet.”

But I’ve been here all along
and that’s always been the problem.

(March, 2012)

The Creature from the Black—Just Kidding.

JCD Kerwin

Sometimes I stay awake;
I stay awake staring at the wall—
staying, staring, waiting
for the other me to take my head
and pull me into concrete,
paint and fiberboard, and
take over so I don’t have to
pretend that I’m okay looking at sunspots
on my winter skin, hoping that
the summer sun will come
and turn it to the darker shade
that I like better.

But it never comes;
no face explodes, screaming from white walls.
I just turn into an insomniac
and start to smoke my fingers because
I forgot I never bought a pack
of cigarettes.
And my eyes start to sink and I start to wish
I never was born at all;
it’d sure be easier than
pretending I knew
what the hell I was
really supposed to do.

Dec, 2011