The cat mewls loudly,
curled up in the corner
by the purple radiator.
You know, that’s a damn ugly color
to paint a radiator.
I’ve lived in this apartment nine years,
a long time to live with an eyesore.
How many thousands of times
have I glanced at it,
and failed to notice
that it resembles a giant accordion
repeatedly vomited on by a wino?
A wino, who by an involuntary disposition,
or by a conscious act of will,
took to not noticing things
until the things were taken away or lost,
except the wine bottle and the sickness
in the morning and the head
that has lost even the words
that float in pieces in a fog where they
can’t be held down and made to say
more than “I’m sorry.” or “Please.
or sometimes a name that seems
to have something to do with him.
I might be more like this man
than I’d like to admit.
My remaining family members
numbering three and we don’t speak
across the thousands of literal miles.
My youthful ideals as valuable as play money
in the world’s marketplace,
purchasing only chuckles or blatant scorn.
My idiotic proclamations of genius
as idiotic as they sound.
I seem to be disappearing
over these many years,
but only now noticing it,
but the wino is only a scarecrow
something I’ve made up right?
I notice the radiator resembles
the bunched brow of a malicious entity,
some steel radiator god
that glowers behind what we fail to see,
and despises men such as myself
Rodney DeCroo is a songwriter, poet and playwright. He has released 6 full-length albums, an album of poetry set to music (Allegheny), a book of poetry (Allegheny, BC) and a theatre production (Stupid Boy in an Ugly Town) that received critical acclaim at several Canadian fringe and writers festivals. DeCroo wrestles with regret, loss, aging, love, memory, death, art—always with his own ongoing recovery embedded in the background. DeCroo’s album and performances draw upon his greatest natural resource—his poetry.