Poetry from John Mellender

It's All My Fault

It's all my fault.  I signed up.  They had me type.
Left, right, hault.  Sit, copy - bored.
Ordered "Drop your pants" in the Orderly Room
'cause my unlaundered uniform smelled ripe,
I gave in, my confidence shook - until now, just look:
office factotums of keyboard
everywhere - screens and computers tied on.
Seeing it happen I've been so floored:
my inaction caused all of this gloom
in wage-slaves to the one percent...
Oh my poor colleagues on whom I should fawn,
my collusion was without intent.

It's all my fault, I saw it coming,
What the media's trying to do to us
besides entertain and inform - unbecoming
to show graphic scenes they make such a fuss
of psychic or physical sexual mayhem
or torture delivered in cinema - then, on T.V.,
bought-up home-videos of groin accidents to them
is fare that is favored by us citizenry -
with a musical track.  To those screens'd desensitize
or power'd divide, I admit I'm the one 
who kept silently watching - so must apologize.
With positive passions more our kind of fun
I thought I was gracious in showing some ruth -
but I had forgotten that beauty is truth.

I must claim the fault, suspected we're fated -
the lies were there - should have extrapolated.
The equal chance at happiness we're told we get
when behind the ears we're still quite wet
becomes the need to toil for subsistence wage....
The nice policeman they say kids should trust
gives karate-chop pat-downs, backroom outrage -
not protection or service but a torture bust.
As in families infant sibling empathy,
in society populist sympathy -
and later those arrested in the protests we see -
are put up against the wall by our powers that be....

I'm the one who didn't hold free love together
in a world of possessiveness and jealousy -
though my buddy and I couldn't be sure whether
our girls, having ravished us thoroughly,
couldn't just up and do the same for another;
and, when we asked 'em, heard 'em agree
that my buddy and I could be those other!
Ah, we four had commitment and variety
'til the draft wrote my friend, and he grew quite thin.
So, since one of our girls had an aunt who could cover
their expenses 'til his 4-F deferment came in,
they left.  Four people, each with just one lover -
living as couples in estrangement's sin.

When school, which canceled band and art long since,
to stop phys-ed, but double lunch-hour, tries,
and overeating children make parents wince....
Blame me!  To sedentary stresses wise,
I couldn't my co-desk-workers convince
the balm for our discomfort is Exercise.
T'was sitting, class and office, sixteen hours
a day inspired my half-hour morning jogs,
not my own insight's energizing powers....
Workouts are epicures in stoic togs -
arduous aerobics are invigorating fun
to free sprites from weariness that mind had begun -
I couldn't make it obvious to everyone.



"The marionetteers of capital
who pull our strings behind the scenes
to drain our strength can't sap it all,"
said the puppet with the shears in his jeans."



When wine country tried my sanity
like a nestless bird with a clear-cut tree
I came to the city for humanity
and a new inspiration for poetry.
The inbound bus was my ship of fools. 
Out its window I tossed my last pack of Kools:
I vowed I'd make, 'til the day I die,
the breath of life my only high -
which now was augmented, to my cost,
by the unavoidability of car exhaust.
With adolescent dreams we bury
so much of human nature too
when youthful premonitions scary
bring mundane fortune into view.

Though by the water's edge lay
a myriad of sphere-cut gem-pebbles
in thier Milky Way arc of the bay -
a particolor night's suns' trebles -

And each colored flare in its bowl
throbs with the starlight of sol.