OWED.

OWED.

By Ben Charles

    I am owed happiness.

Says who?

                                                                 I am owed love. 

Says who?

                                                                                    I am owed sex. 

Says who?

                                                                          I am owed L I F E.

Says who?

The rolling rock gathers moss,
mankind resentfully collects and counts her cost,
while mothers weep and mourn her loss.
Divine demiurge or celestial chance,
depending on who you ask,
gathered us all here to today.
Either impossible odds or omniscient god
They gave us everything and nothing.
Gave us the night, gave us the day.
Odds of fractions to the trillions
Gave us bare feet on the grass,
gave us love shortlived, lifelong and past.

Is this owed to the simians?

Perhaps,
Every existence per hapless sap,
Spits in the face of reason,
We’re God’s Laws’ treason
searching El Dorado without a map.

So here we are.
What’s left to do?
We demand more, we demand respect.
We need a better nose, we’re owed a newer car.
I am owed an expensive vacation if not 2 or 3 on a yearly basis
I am owed paper featuring dead men’s faces.
I am owed all this, plus a wife and a bigger house than you.

I am owed.

 

I am owned.

You Don’t Know What You Lost

The Selfish Fool, The God of Weakness
Run, run away
Run, run away
Run, run, run away lest what you create

Grows

Grows to bring light to existence, light to humanity
Light to fate
Bring light to your fate
But you prefer the dark
The dark-  hide where it is safe
Where you can hide from failure, hide from human spark
Hide where there is no need to fight

Hide, hide away
Hide from the one
Who would starve to death
To give a meal to your son
So that he may live another day, take another breath

Hide, hide away
Hide, hide away
Hide from your greatest gift to the world
You do not know what you lost

God left his only son
For the sake of mankind, for the sake of the world
A lighted faith, a fighted Death, a lamb to the slaughter

The God of Weakness
Left his only daughter
For the sake of himself, for the sake of retreat
A coward’s fate: a weakling’s life, and a girl without a father
The God of Weakness
He couldn’t accept the challenge of life, he is too pathetic for even basic feats
Like Gestas on Golgotha, he does not have the strength to endure any stress
He’d rather take the easy way, the coward’s way
To deny, to run, and to hide, to never suffer defeat

Run, run away
Run, run away
Light cannot blind you when your back is turned
This light is too bright for you
God of Weakness
Lord of Cowardice
Had you opened your eyes to see her, given them a chance
Perhaps they would not be burnt and blind
Had you let yourself feel her shine, the warmth and the bliss
Perhaps you would be stronger, perhaps you’d have her first dance

I,
God of Weakness
Am too strong to run, run, run away

I,
Lord of Cowardice
Embrace the light, I will not hide, hide, hide away

I,
The Disappearance
Am much stronger than you
I will have her first dance

Her light does not blind me
Clearly, I see
I see, I see
I see her kindness, I see it deny wickedness and evil
I see her tenacity, I see it care for the injured and ill
Are you lost? God of Weakness?
These are not qualities of a coward, nor are they found in a bottle
Therefore you would know nothing about them, slink away
Find your glass neck to throttle

I see, I see
I see her see injustice and face it with a fist and shout
Does that frighten you? Lord of Cowardice?
It does not frighten me
You have sacrificed nothing, you have fought none of life’s brawls or bouts
You will never know her, nor understand all that she can be

I see, I see
I see her cry
Cry to the plight of strangers
Cry to simplest of joy
You don’t know what you lost
When she cries, her tears are always to the beauty of life
Life emerald, ruby, and diamond- where her tears are where beauty is
More precious, as her tears cannot be corrupted by greed, anger and strife

Lord of Cowardice
You don’t know what you lost
Lord of Cowardice
I don’t know how to thank you, thank you for us both
When you ran, ran away
Slithered without a spine
She was lost and betrayed, she did not know her worth
When she became mine, I will help her find this
That is my trial, that is my oath

I saw, you see, what you could not see
For I am not a God
I am a man

I WILL LIVE AS A MAN
I WILL DIE AS A MAN
Like Dismas on Golgotha, I see greatness- but not of mine

I fear death, Lord of Cowardice
You fear life, God of Weakness
You do not know what you lost, nor do you care
I can admit that I do not appreciate the true worth of who I have found
You ran, ran away
Your pathetic legs making not a sound

I WILL LIVE AS A MAN
I WILL DIE AS A MAN

I will live for her
Die for her
Fight for her

I have faced death, I have endured, God of Weakness
I have seen unemployment, poverty, addiction, and every kind of bump and slice
I have survived suicide twice
Tragedy, death, hunger, and strife
These no longer frighten me
Fortune, fame, a fat belly and an easy life
These no longer appeal to me

The fires of passion and life
Have tempered me to stone
There is (No Vac)ancy for you, God Of Weakness
There is (No Vac)ancy for you, leave us alone
Though tempered stone I am, I am her rock
For her, I can withstand, I can endure, and can fight not flee
Your cowardice, your ignorance, your inability
I am glad you keep it far from us,
Glad that it will not corrupt

For our children will fight, they will endure, they will be strong
They will fight, fight towards
A future more bright, a past worth record
You, Lord of Cowardice, this is your last poem
Drunk, weak, and blind you will perish
To a bored congregation, and to apathetic hymns
Run, run, run away
To die as you wished to live
Forgotten.
To die as you wished to live
Forgotten in speech, text and song.

 

The Meter Maid

This is the day of the meter maid
Onward you endure, onward underpaid
What you do is completely thankless
No child aspires to clean a public street mess
Not to mention your boss nor the public gives a piss
About you
Onward you endure everyday, with a neon yellow vest
To give high visibility, to a life so blue

“I’ve already started writing the ticket.”
You mumble with a sigh
And prepare yourself for the screaming, swearing, and death threats
Your daily replies
You take it all in
You don’t power trip
You politely say,
“I’m sorry sir.”
And wipe your face of all the spit

You take it all in stride
But you kind of hate your life
You have no room for pride
You need to feed your children
You do it for your wife
So you sleep, rise, and face the day again
Onward you endure, onward underpaid
The simple life of a humble meter maid

The Life of An Adult-Baby Daddy

I took the last drag of my cigarette and exhaled the cancerous, delicious tar slowly. The poisonous mist danced gracefully away and disappeared into the hot summer air. My eyes gazed up towards the stars wistfully. I wanted to light another one to prolong the peace of the summer night and the beautiful sky. I knew deep down that I had to go back inside.

Back to her.

I entered my house slowly, with the caution of an experienced burglar. I slunk over to fridge to grab a beer, then plopped down on the couch and opened my Miller High Life, opening it ever-so delicatley as to make as little noise as possible. A pop and a small hiss escaped the cylinder. I turned on the hockey game and watched mindlessly. It’s all I wanted to do after my 10-hour shift, I needed this. Maybe tonight I could finally get some normality.

“Honey. We need to talk.”

Maybe not.

“Ok. What is it?” I asked. Although I didn’t need to, knew exactly what was coming. I knew I had to choose my words carefully. I knew that my life will never know peace.

“I’ve had a rough day today, and my anxiety is really bad. I’m going to revert tonight. Probably in five minutes or so. I need a diapy change.” Those words pierced the core of my soul.

“Alright- well- look, this is a playoff game. The Jets haven’t been this close to the Cup in a long time and there’s only 10 minutes left in the third period. Just let me watch it and-”

“No! ” She shrieked. “Baby need diapy change and stowy-time now!”

I sighed deeply, but not loud enough for her to hear, and turned off the TV. I held her hand and walked her to our bedroom. I sleep in a bedroom with over 200 stuffed animals.

I thought back to when Melissa had told me she was into some weird roleplaying when we first met at a La Dispute show in 2015. I just assumed that meant she liked to pretend she was a school teacher or a cop or something during sex. I never imagined it would be anything like this. She was cute, fun, and seemingly cool when I met her. I was a young, desperate fool who just had to have a girlfriend. Too desperate. Now here I am, reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to a 22-year-old with a septum piercing, a pacifier, and sparrow tattoos.

My life is a cruel joke. I drive to work and back every day in complete silence. No radio, no podcasts. Nothing. It’s the only solitude I get in a day and I cherish it dearly. My friends belittle me mercilessly, and my family does not take me seriously. I have to adhere to all of her rules and follow Melissa’s vegan diet, I haven’t had friends over for a BBQ or even grilled a steak in years, I’m not even sure I can anymore. I’m not sure I can do any of this anymore.

I snapped out of my cruel past and back into my cruel present. It was her “beddy-time”. I carefully played my part in her routine of singing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” to her, putting on her jammies, and tucking her into her crib. The crib that I had spent my Christmas bonus on last year.

“I wuv you, daddy.” She said in her faux sleepy voice. It’s a good thing I had died inside long ago, or else that would have sent me into a furious rage.

“I- I wuv you too.”

I sat back down on the sofa, I downed my Miller in one thirsty swallow and immediately cracked another. In total tranquillity and darkness I stayed, staring into the void. The late-night infomercial salesmen were far more comforting than they could ever imagine. I had thought that I could finally be free for the night. That was the case until Melissa’s piercing cry molested the moment over the baby monitor. In one long and efficient numb-seeking slurp I finish my second beer- It’s time to be “Daddy” again.

My mother always wanted me to have a baby, and now I do. Do not live like me, for I am dead.