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A New Year’s Poem: ‘Not a Happy Ending’

29 Dec

The beginning of each new year is a time for personal reflection, which is why many people resolve to change their everyday lives in some manner.  Some go on diets.  Other attempt to quit smoking or whatever they think they need to improve on.

While flying to Los Angeles from Bucharest, I watched a documentary on Roger Ebert, the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.  I had this refrain in my head: We are our own worse enemies.  Like stream of consciousness, I remembered other occasions of me repeating the refrain.  The poem streamed out without needing much editing.

What follows is my attempt to force people to be a little self-reflective now.

It’s a modern poem, meaning there’s no end rhyme and the only echo are words.


 

We are our own worse enemy.

Some of us eat too much.

Some eat too much red meat.

Some get high on drugs.

Some smoke cigarettes.

Some drink too much and others don’t exercise.

Some almost drank themselves to death, like Roger Ebert, Jack London and Raymond Carver.

Carver quit drinking, smoked like a chimney and died of lung cancer.

Yes, we are our own worse enemy.

Barry Saks Reads the Poetry of James Baldwin and Lynn Nottage

22 Jun

I’m using the occasion of a party on Saturday, June 23, in which Marlene and I cannot attend to read two poems to express my solidarity with the folks there.

I must credit Marlene for putting this together.

 

 

 

But life is also more complicated than we think.  I forgot to show the covers of two small books I read from.  So we needed to re-shoot a little.  The video below was an outtake from the re-shooting.  It put a little smile on my face.