grip the light

I sit here
                drunk now
                                    listening to the
same symphonies
                      that gave me
                      the luck to go on
when I was 22.

40 years later
                 they and I are not as
                                  magic.

you should have
                    seen me then
                                      so
                    lean
                                      no
gut
          I was
                    a gaunt string of a
                    thing
                                     blazing
goofy.

say one wrong
                    word
                                      to me
and I’d crack you right
                                   off.

I didn’t want to be
                bothered with
                                  anything.

I was
                always in some
                                 cell
                being booked for
                doing things
                on or off the
avenue.

I sit here
                drunk now.
                                   I am
                a series of
small sometimes victories
                and I am as
amazed
                as any others
                                 that
I have gotten
                  from there to
here
without murdering
                     or being
murdered
without
                     having entered a
                                    madhouse.

as I drink alone
                 again tonight
                 my happiness through
agony
                 thanks all the gods
who were not
                 here.