Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Open Mic at Art6 Gallery

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Crazy is
seeing his face
on the evening news.
Not clean cut and dapper
but bearded and disheveled,
blankly posing for his mug shot.

The newsman said
it was a prostitution ring.
He got clipped for
trying to pay for some company.
Guess saying you're a former
college star doesn't work anymore.

Has it been that long
since his name was
buzzing around the state?
Starting quarterback for
one of the state's top level colleges
does wonders with the public;

since kids wore his number,
playing in the backyard
pretending that they're him,
pretending they were making
the game-winning play
against their hated rivals;

since men and women made plans
to make pilgrimages back
on campus for the fall campaigns
where he led the team
out of the tunnel for
sixty minutes of gridiron glory.

But the order of life said
he could only have
four years of this
and then it was time
to move on, leaving
the football behind.

Sure, people came up to him
and wanted to shake hands,
laughing and reminiscing about
the good times and the good plays
he made. Some even helped out
getting him going in the job market.

But the order of life
also said that time
pushes a man further and
further away from the
glories of his youth as the
youngsters step in and

take the bar higher and higher,
pushing his name further
down the lists of accomplished feats
until he became a footnote
in the writings of the history
of his college's success.

Now I wonder if it was the thought
of being an afterthought that
messed him up. I remember
we chatted a while ago
and he said something to me
that was unexpected and surprising.

He said,
“I wish I could've done more.”

I tried to disagree
but he wouldn't listen.
Now I realize
what he was trying to tell me.
He could see the writing on the wall
and his name wasn't on it

and the day-to-day grind
just wasn't the same.
So on that night, maybe he thought
he could buy some attention for
what he once was because
so few others gave it to him for free.

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