Life Is (A Poem)

Life is a quick transaction.

Life is a confidence game.

Life is a lengthy quotation.

Life is the sun clinging to the horizon endlessly and then suddenly vanishing.

Life is an ugly riddle.

Life is a punch line, the last stop, and the Minotaur guarding the Maze.

…Bereft of pretension, and utterly soaked by it.

Life is living the contradictions.

…Your unrequited dream, excusing yourself as you walk through, a half-buried longing that refuses to stay put.

Life is a cooling cup of coffee.

Life is biting the fingernails to the quick out of sheer panic at the thought of a day job.

Life is despairing of ever finding one.

…On another level of consciousness, in which all of our preconceived ideas about what Life Is are dashed to oblivion.

Life is self-referential and irreverent.

…Playing with words to see what sounds profound and what sounds like garbage, and taking out the trash.

…Tearing off the fringes of a wash cloth before dusting off the floorboards and windowsills and don’t forget the attic.

…The nagging self-doubt that undermines creative effort every single time.

Life is perfectionism and the triumph of style over substance.

Life does not know when to quit until inevitably it does.

…not only the bounced check but the bounced-check fee, and the subsequent phone call in a vain attempt to waive it.

…Scribbling madness at a Euro-style bohemian café in the shadow of housing projects.

…Not being able to know anything for certain, and to be certain only of the fact that what you have at best are educated guesses.

Life is the guesswork and conjecture.

Life is a display of polysyllabic words effusively thrown about so cute girls will fuck you.

Life is knowing yourself and knowing others.

…wants you to think that you’re an untalented hack wasting his time, but rest assured that Life is wrong on that score, and is awfully right on many others.

Life is the phone that cannot be willed into ringing, nor is it the article that will write itself.

…asking a stranger to watch your stuff.

…enjoying an oversized, overpriced cookie because, after all, everything in moderation.

Life is quoting Benjamin Franklin, who said or is said to have said that he and the other founders gave us “a Republic, if [we] can keep it.”

Life is, quite literally, a stream of consciousness, upon which we are confined to metaphysical rowboats.

…The rapid current that flips us over, holding us under the raging water, then lets go so we emerge gasping for air.

Life is a dog that licks itself because it can.

Life is a finite series of random encounters of varying intensity and duration.

Life likes to get technical.

…Creating a magazine in 24 hours.

…Recharging an ever-draining battery.

…Packing up to leave.

…Holding on.

Life is All for one and one for all even when no one believes in trite sayings.

Life is “just saying.”

…Accepting the immutability of the past and unknowability of the future, leaving only the present moment which is being devoted to drawing scenes of coffeehouses where people come to work and not to discover each other.

Life is appreciating what underpaid wage slaves do to make this city work.

Life is not a test.

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