Cheap Loving

01/21/2011 § Leave a comment

I’m still wearing the shirt I bought in 05,
readying myself for college
with a new vintage look.

It has been faithful to me, grown
out of shape along with me
with holes across the back to prove the years
like a poor man’s constellation
whose stars grow brighter and brighter to the naked eye
each time I pull the fabric over my head

and it understands my terror better than most
that perhaps the best years of my life are gone
and I’ve got nothing to show for them
other than a few shitty poems
a failed love affair
and an old vintage shirt
with holes in the back.

There are months I can’t afford healthcare
and weeks I eat only oatmeal and instant coffee
the rent is always late but the late fees are always on time
and I’ve got no matching socks
just a lone pair of runners and umbrellas
stolen from lost and found boxes

and to forget this great shame I put on an air of sobriety
and people say he’s an artist, that’s what artists do,
leave him to his sorrows, they belong to him
and only him and he needs them to write his hymn.

But what they don’t know
is that there is no beauty in poverty nor in hunger
just the sure savagery of the animal in human
that’s often forgotten in this age of mass production
and five dollar cups of fair-trade coffee.

So forgive me if I can’t write about beauty
or the youthful agony
of knowing
that the girl I secretly adore
is fucking some other guy
while I sit obscurely in my room
politely going insane
rummaging up what comfort I can get
from borrowed books and pirated music
and a spoonful of oatmeal—

this is the best I can offer.

(Winter 2010)

Creative Commons License
Cheap Loving by Minwook Bae is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.

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