HUBRIS / To an Insolent Man in a Humble Bar
Stream of Consciousness: Test 4
by J McC
Hollow, stern and baptized by by bravado.
This man drinks up, sits down.
His face is prickly, framed by an rusting anchor and a clown’s smile.
He is no steady, grounding spirit.
His neck is exposed, a tilted head
And peering down his nose
He arches for a fight. And jab will do,
Conscious of the strained leather which cracks and
squeezes as he turns, slowly,
as if his entire bulk were unimpressed –
The vain connoisseur is ready to pass judgement;
clawing at gratification with his teeth.
Spits, nods & a scorched gaze,
Eyes ripe with conceit.
I hoped to believe in sensitivity:
Full lips, glossy hair that warms to soft light –
No. I am the cherry on your ego.
Your old skin tells rotten jokes
Mauls innocence like forks in child’s clay
The rest is stiff with arrogance.
He assumes my stupidity and ignorance.
My mouth is a circle of despair;
It humours you and is funnier than you.
You do not see this.
He does not see this.
Instead, he glares at me with indifference,
A wild chatter escapes and he shuts,
Emptied of malediction. Yet
I am darker than you.
Your mists and shadows are just stories,
Broken branches and soil kept in jars;
A head stuffed with mirrors.
You only just hit the road;
I was born of it,
And from the echoes of strangers
You’ll learn silence,
For yours is a mind wrapped within itself and itself
And these skulls are merely bookmarks.