Listen Young Man

… not every young man lives long enough to become an eternal genius with hair like gathered dust …

Young man
when you fight
fight to win
and don’t go home a sore loser
and don’t take this personally
but you have some flies buzzing around your head
and don’t dare to dream a dangerous dream
of a life all your own
and don’t fall so quickly in love
with the anger of mighty Kilimanjaro
who is tired of being climbed every day
but destined to stand longer than you
young man

Young man
abandon your romantic cleverness
and waltz your aggravation around some flagpole
instead of my ear
and eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich
under the horror of ringing bells
and revisit the metal lathes that spit
the oily steel shavings at your father’s youth
and fill in the dead air
between advancements of the minute hand
that mock you
with so much shit to do
young man

Einstein was a patent clerk before he found his fame
Beethoven still heard the music
after his German ears fell silent
and James Dean died behind the wheel of a racecar
after predicting the oncoming driver would slow down
young man

And when you fight
fight to win
but make love like there is no tomorrow

Listen to me now, young man
because not every young man
lives long enough
to become an eternal genius with hair like gathered dust
or weep like an inspired but tortured lawless lover
or go deaf as a bitter old composer
challenging the ivory keys of his molested, legless piano
until the very day
he dies

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