Life on rails

To spend your life moving inexorably in a given direction and, to come there by pains slow and steady, is no trivial thing. Our anxieties define themselves silently along these paths and give birth to paralyzing fears when the destination is upon us. The choice of a life on rails is not “what will I do?” but rather, “what will I do when I get there?”

I unmask myself in the face of fear
through the simple act of removing my
glasses.  
My vision gives shape to the world but
It also animates my anxieties, rendering
Them with a permanence and livelihood
That’s ugly to me.
It’s not a shameful act, but it has a perverse
Incongruity –
Freedom through a degrading sense.
Breadth at the expense of focus.

If ever there were a theme of my life, 
This is it.
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My friend

     Yes he saw him
     and knew his intentions.
     Yes,
     Yes, of course there 
     is an anxious flush.
     Handsome faces force
     their way into
     memories with a
     blinding speed.

Sweats breed
themselves
like fruit flies
across the faint 
worry lines of
his face.

     He steps on 
     high achievement
     like a laden stone,
     pronouncing something
     unintelligible,
     like it's 
     history's forgotten
     place mat.

All these indiscretions
and distractions 
that agitate him
to no end.
To no end.
That's the puzzling
part of it all.

     Sitting and hoping
     on some,
     while others he bare
     wrestles and bleeds
     dry.


Is this a coherent
picture of a man?
Is this a man who
prizes a coherent
picture of himself?

This man is my friend
and these words are
all the best I can do.