That Which Will Get in the Way

Alright, folks. Only two days until my collection, “That Which Gets in the Way” is out! Here’s a handful of poems from it. I really hope you enjoy these and the rest of my book. It’s a very important piece of my life. I was suffering extreme depression just over a year ago and this work is the documentation of my journey through that. I’d even go as far as say this book helped save my life. That’s probably enough about it though to give you a good taste without ruining the experience for you. Enjoy!

 

Discouraged

On my feet
out of bed
away from the barrel

I can feel the breath of that ghost
where my neck meets my shoulder

I take a piss
and sometimes stare at myself in the mirror
for so long
I have to piss again before leaving the bathroom

I hope folks can’t smell the odor of that ghost
on me
when I walk down halls
trying to look like them
act like them
relate to them

maybe I shouldn’t worry though
since their ghosts are pretty big
and stinky

like they were lookin themselves
in the eyes
for so long
that it was easier to give up.

Havoc

A tree floats above the boys
casting darkness
that passes into our skin
wraps our bones
in bandage

I’m not wounded

our cry as we’re carried to the fire

the darkness looks down
puzzled
peels off the bandage and wrings it

naught but sweat drips.

no blood
no tears

there was a fight that we missed
where men tore their boots
out of mud
curled their lips
and gouged their enemies

our bandage, though,
is dry

available

Some ladies fuckin eat
guys do too, some of them

but that’s what they want to
put in my pocket?

Them chowing down?

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to
put in people’s pockets
I held on to it for years
and it isn’t me clogging my throat with a hot dog.

it’s this, right?

But these fat fucks stuff a day’s worth of food into
their guts like a barbarian covered in green war painting
and the blood of Romans
rush into battle

and that shit’s fuckin normal now!

There are no more bed time stories
they’ve run out
you can’t tell them because they’re outlawed
all you can do is watch simple susan
suck a cow’s tit and
swish it
til it’s butter

then fuckin GULP

Crown

Kingdoms didn’t exist
and neither did thrones

if a woman didn’t write it
about a man

it’s a fuckin lie.

There were never gladiators
no lions tearing their flesh
no brass bulls
with men inside them
being cooked alive

there aren’t testicles
and we aren’t men.

Adult

my head hangs forward as I focus on the screen
it falls back so I can think
I’m out of whiskey
I’m out of stories
and inspiration

My first poetry book sold five copies
I’ve never sold a song
no one watches my videos
my posts are baron
unpainted
whilst others posts
are a nice ‘like’ color white

but I chug, or truck, or carry, or shove
because when I ran out of things to say
and people to pay attention
that’s what sounded correct

so I know I’m an adult now
job, apartment, car, bills
because they successfully beat me down
while instilling the perfect balance
of desire to exist

that’s what an adult is

“reasonable” is what we are.

Finger

ten thumbs press on points around my face
the teeth at the front of my bottom jaw grind
against the teeth at the front of my top
my right eye squints a bit all the time

yet,

look at this shit

yet, I persevere.

At a desk
blue light scarring your eyes

that’s what you get.

You don’t get to jerk off
you can’t lean fully back
or have a quick sniff of
booze

you get to persevere.

But going home for a few hours in between
really only provides enough relaxation
to slightly impede the corrosion
and you get old
and ugly

Author: A. M. Langston

Poet and Novelist

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