The Lyrical Sadness of a Life Half Lived

Cal Doyle

You start getting your own ideas
when learning to play correctly

and dissimulating sleek interiors
after years when these wild ecstasies

shall be matured. For what is there but the surface
that prevents us from crawling

into the skin of another?
This luxury renders

a describe-the-strokes style of writing
based on the assumption that art inevitably

comments on gleams of half-extinguished thought
in nature, and in the language of the sense.

My former pleasures:
smoke, sent up in silence,

the obsessive, the lover, the day,
the sex-culture memorabilia

from among the trees,

in lonely rooms with artists,

and one final, baffled complaint

against all sweet sounds and harmonies.

There is a reason for preserving and idealizing certain forms
as time moves too fast for us

because it’s unfamiliar, and the humanizing beauty
of suffering through memory

that artists are encouraged to make
(feelings too, of unremembered pleasure)

and dealers are encouraged to sell,

which seems to suggest we’ll never run out of resources

to consume. Like Romantic poetry, but with added
curated walks and a mandatory visual exchange.

While most of the content here feels comfortable

and almost familiar, there’s a heap of different textures

to guide your fingers through these scant, distorted projections.
This wretched excess has multiple ancestries:

I come among these hills, in this economy,
to broadcast names and contribute to fame.