R.M. Engelhardt



Is that genius that
Wails thru time
Like a saxophone
Cutting through
The darkness of the night

Just as the rain



You can get fucked up
or let other people
fuck you up.

And that's the nature of life.

Pull the suffering artist-writer
routine, drink too much,
find women who are also fucked up

But like you, don't know that they are fucked up

Just yet.

And then one day one morning you wake up
And realize that you are not like Bukowski,
And not like everyone else and that you don't need the
drugs, the booze or the women whose hearts are made of lead.

To give you
A reason

"To be"

And you get sick.
Sick of all of the wretch &
all of the shit that comes along with the anger, the failure
And that sinking ship

Of hope.

That's slowly eaten thru your soul
over the years and the years

And the years.

So save the lectures and the sermons for all of
The republicans, bureaucrats and born again Christians
And all of the lost who have lost their way and who
Have forgotten who they are

Or who they once were.

Because Charles Bukowski is dead my friends
And he was human just like everybody else.
He was no fucking prophet or saint, no icon
Or savior.

He was just a man who eventually got
All of his shit "right"

And who then said unto all of the masses



I live alone.
I drink alone.
Chain smoke

And live
on coffee.

Send out my
shit-ass poems to academic
journals & magazines,
keep the rejection slips
on top of my dresser
and hope that one day
when I'm famous I can
tell my lit agent to
tell them all
To "fuck-off."

Because I am the last of the
my kind, the last of the "Human"
poets leftover from the late
20th century. Because I am the last
middle-aged poster boy for what
being a middle-aged poet
Is all about.

I like to sleep alone
I like to sleep with Keats
save for the occasional poetry
groupie or desperate wine-sopped
housewife whose husband
can't get up
Their prose.

I am the week-night English instructor
and grand master of the
casual word-play
I like to sit in
the dark alone and
masturbate to the pages
of the APR & fantasize
about all of the young new
lady poets in residence
reading me all their poems
In the buff.

I like to watch television
and laugh at all of the wanna-
be " pop-stars" & Def Jam
wanna be poets because they
have already sold-out
their generation & their very souls
without even realizing it
or trying.
For a whole 15 minutes
of nothing, going nowhere
that the shallow network heads
Call "fame".

Because I am the last true
human being, the last true
poet and not much good
at anything else, and I accept
the eventual downfall that
I will probably live the
remainder of my life broke,
sometimes homeless
and alone.
And oh yes..."alone."
And weeping a living
edsel in the aftermath
of poetry teeth rotting
towards the epitaph
Of silence
And attitude rhyming

I live alone.
I drink alone
And I chain-smoke
cigarettes alone.
Writing poems
for future generations
who won't give a shit
About poems
or for that matter


At all.

R.M. Engelhardt is a veteran poet & writer whose work over the years has appeared in many journals & magazines including Rusty Truck, Thunder Sandwich, The Boston Literary Review, The NY Times, Full of Crow, Dry Land Lit, The Outlaw Poetry Network, Telepoem & in many others. He is one of the original co-founders' of Albany Poets and is currently the host of the Troy Poetry Mission, a monthly open mic for poets held in Troy, NY.


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