The Cigarette, the Beers, the Trash

Fish sculpture made from trash at Japan’s Setouchi Art Festival (Source: Recyclart)
Everything is good for something
Even the trash, the ugly and the dirty,
What we throw away we can put in a poem,
Make art of our rejections, our defeats
All of it just grist for the mill of our songs.

It’s too bad that sometimes we want only the pretty,
That which makes us believe we’re saints, or holy,
Or some kind of artiste, for hell’s sake.

Send me storms when I’m walking home
Locusts in the harvest season
I’d rather go hungry than
Stuff my gills at some catered banquet
Where everyone is neutered by Martha Stewart.

Look outside your frigging window,
What you see is what it is—that’s all there is.
I see abandoned cars, newspapers, a beer bottle
Propped up against a half-dead tree
And I’m going to put them in this poem
Because that’s all I’ve got tonight.

Then I’ll smoke a cigarette, stare at the night clouds,
Let the wind whip my face
    And that’s it, at least I’ll know I didn’t cheat,
        Didn’t fake what’s in my life.

~ Alejandro Murguía

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