Regular Poem: Gamble

17 May

lay your money down
heap it in the pot
feel the excitement as you win

but realize
that too many people have placed the same bet
the odds were in your favor
so your share is small

yes
you’ve bet
that i
wouldn’t learn from my mistakes
that i
would make impulsive decisions
that i
would be writing the same bullshit about the same four people for the thousandth time

that’s not a safe bet, babe
that’s a fixed fight

that’s the black sox scandal of 1919, babe

i use the gambling metaphor because
i use the gambling metaphor in my colloquial speech that everyone around me picks up on and subsequently uses

i’m turning us all into humphrey bogart
one hard-boiled cliche at a time
but not like regular philip marlowe humphrey bogart
but surreal dark passage humphrey bogart where
half the time you don’t even have your own face
just bandages and chiaroscuro
and spite

of course

you’d have bet on chiaroscuro and spite
you’d have bet on a lot of things

i always deliver on a lot of things
and never deliver on others

one thing i did actually learn
is that an always-never argument
is automatically invalid

there are sometimes
indubitably

what are my favorite adverbs
who are my favorite people

they say not to write using adverbs
they say it’s lazy
telling rather than showing

but
what is a person
divorced from
how
she’s completing an action

adverbs answer a lot of questions

i ask
i answer myself
i use old-timey stock phrases

there are a lot of things worthy of hate
but adverbs tend to be
a grammatical whipping boy

catch me behind the woodshed
i’m always ready for a punishment
physical preferred because i know i can take that

put your money on me
i’m the horse with the worst name at the kentucky derby
but the worst names usually win
and you can wear whatever hat you want as you drink mint juleps

max bet
accidentally six bucks a spin
when really you had meant
repeat bet

but every bet
is still a bet
there’s the chance to lose
and the house always wins regardless

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2 Responses to “Regular Poem: Gamble”

  1. Silver Screenings 18 May 2019 at 1:17 PM #

    Oh yeah, the Dark Passage Humphrey Bogart. Brilliant.

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