NICK PETRGALOVIC - POEMS
Nick Petrgalovic, 24, enjoys sharing experiences with other people, especially those whose backgrounds are unfamiliar or unknown to him, and he lives for human connection, testing boundaries, and challenging perspectives. He plans to teach English in Japan after completing a Master's degree at California State University Long Beach, and live a life of love and warm company. You can find his poetry at https://adventhorizon.wordpress.com/
Time's cracking down and I'm
feeling the pressure
with a mess on every side of me
my place of rest is a noisy chest of
books and clothes and lost liberty
Hope can't be found in a little blue book
no matter where I look
no matter where I look
I see a great big pile of eternity
The same three hundred sixty-five pages
turning for ages and
turning for ages
until one day I think I spot the truth
and it's with you
sitting next to me as I read
watching me feed my eyes
with my lies
up from the pages I take my trembling pen
wrote some hen-pecked words I come to regret
my rages and thrashing you held me against
them listening to every mistake I could say
my pet peeves my terrors
my overambitions my self-serving ways
my lost inhibitions my hates and my pains
and all my clichés, with an accent on top
To make it mine.
Now I'm fine. I turned the next page
where I'm under the pressure
squirming in hell
an old shell I've outgrown
No wonder it hurts
it's my just desserts for fucking
lying so well.
I get what I pay for
and I'm a freeloader
wannabe hobo who don't know
where he wanna go
where we wanna go with this,
to a kiss
to an altar?
To a catastrophic moment of fault
Her lips in my teeth
it's a grosser image than
It's dead skin and lip balm washed down
It's me on the brink,
A misguided wink
It's everything I love
gone in a blink
It's mothers with children too weak to feed
It's daddys bodies too dead to stink
Not one sound, not one note
going by unheard
But every one of them one third of
what you wanna tell somebody
And nobody gets the full tune
They say I'll see you soon
and then forget
They think you're dry when you're wet
cold when you're freezing
hot when you're worn out
That man's got power
That man's got clout
He can save us
We are so small
it's a wonder he's even
thinking about us at all
He stands tall
He's a beacon of faith
Burn him to get what you would from
Won't mind, he's strong
Never stumbled at all
Never listened to my craving saving whispers
Never felt the pain that I feel
Seen the things that I seen
listened and then thought about what I mean
What I mean?
What I do?
What one of you has a clue
Where I come from
Who I am
Is my shouting not sufficient for you
I'm lost in a staring match
and your eyes are closed
You wouldn't see the difference
if I looked at you down my nose
or up at you from on my knees
You clearly cannot see my love
the mirror lips reflecting silent
stony deafdumb dying love.
“The First Steps of Winter”
Cold grey ground smooth flat square divided town
Lines point the way for my stainless steel kickped
Lead me straight through a nest of insects
Butterflies and ladybugs
Spiders in their cottonwebs
Warm wooden greenhouse keeps me safe for an hour or so,
Lot of work pushing earth with my tired feet
I got a mile and a mile more of highway
Both ways in front and behind me for infinity, could be this time I’ve dug too deep
Graves line the side of this long track of asphalt and I’ve lied in one of them every few hours
Every time I close my eyes and hope I don’t see a light
Its passing brightness warns me with the rolling of wheels
Every time I close my eyes my body shakes free of all the heavy load burdens I been carrying with me
Every time I close my eyes I hear the voice
This is my choice
This is my choice
I chose my path
A dead and frozen future
Piled up in the snow like a feast for the bears
My choice to be a fugitive, a runaway slave
With his hopes and his worries lost
Up in the air
My choice to go alone
Cause I always did before
My choice to pay attention to a debt
That I couldn’t ignore.
I woke up, eyes blurry, feet cold and in a hurry
For my newfound life
Seen a Fall turn to ashes, white and snowy
Know I’d wake up in a panic at the last few inches
Long trip home through a flying metal cabin
But not as long as the house I hung my hat in
Sombre eyes took in the final playground where no children played that season
Looking from high on a concrete perch
Steps up and down across the elevated bridge
Wrapped up in my shield of warmth
Breath escaping up toward the mountains I’d never climbed
I’d come searching for my final descent,
Well my time searching came and went
Back the way I came, but the path was different
I’d come seeking a rising sun and found myself a dawn,
But when I took my leave I was following the dusk
And in the twilight of my journey,
Dreading my hometown
I wondered with teary eyes what I’d found,
I’d found my voice.
“I am Afrayed”
I am so afraid of defending myself
of meeting resistance with resistance
I would rather endure the pain defenseless.
But I can't take it any more.
I need my hands in front of me
up in protection
I need my shield at my back
and at my side
I am afraid to defend myself and cut with my sword;
I am afraid of hurting you, even as I suffer the pain.
I am afraid of making you defend yourself,
And I am more afraid that you won't, and that I'll cut
wound you with all my force.
I am afraid of my power.
I am afraid my power is less than it is,
and I am afraid that it is more than I can handle.
I am afraid I am more than this world can handle,
and more importantly, I am afraid I am more than
you can handle.
I'm afraid you're afraid, afraid of me,
afraid you're right, that I'm too much.
I'm afraid if I'm right, that you are strong,
as strong as me,
Strong enough to be my shield and my sword,
the kind I can swing at full force
and you will not break,
the kind that I can hold against my worst onslaughts
and you will not break.
I am afraid you are a sword in a stone,
you cannot be moved, you cannot be taken, you will not budge,
and I am the one whose hand can pull you out
and I am not strong enough to free you.
But I want to.
I am afraid to be wrong,
that you are happy where you're sheathed,
that I am pulling you out of where you belong.
And I am afraid of my fear,
that I am right, that you are the one I need
to slay my demons.
I am afraid they are our demons, I fear our foes
are our own.
I am afraid to use you, to wield you.
I'm afraid you'll chip, you'll scuff.
When you bend I'm afraid you'll break,
and I'm afraid that fear will twist me
into a man more broken than I feel I am.
I am afraid despite all this fear,
I need to pull you loose,
I need to free you.
I need to use your edge, you are sharp.
Sharp enough to pierce the plate of my own shell,
to kill myself if only you can.
I am afraid to rely on you as my armor, and as my blade,
that you are my last line of defense, and my fiercest attack,
and that after you,
there is nothing on my chest
there is nothing in my hand
that all I'll have to hold is myself,
or the dust where I lie in the grave that slips though
I can't live with this fear. I must be brave.
And if you break? If I bend you too far or hold you too close,
that your double edge will cut my chest, pressed
against me by the force of life
which I am dying to resist.
I am afraid to be alive with you and die without you,
and I am afraid to live if it means your death.
And I am afraid to bury you with me when I fall
if you can still fight another day, unbent and unbroken,
because you are the one, the strongest one that opens me up
from the tip of my chin to the bottom of my heart
and the hardest one who sustains the worst challenge I
seek to face.
I cannot penetrate your shield with my own hands,
and I'm afraid I must take your sword and plunge it
because I am weak, and cannot defense myself,
so I must see how you fare on your own,
and that is only fair to me, I am afraid.
Pretty sure I'm going to scream
every single god damn crack of voice
It won't be contained much more
and it doesn't seem like a choice
Pretty sure I'm going to blow
pound the walls full of holes
White prison mirror shining frame
surrounds my head
Knowing what I know,
I can't put a fist through that tomb
I'd make a mess and that won't go
So I'll babble in my own echoes.
I don't need a wound to tell me what lies beyond,
the wall has its looking holes and I can see
tiny pinpricks letting light
look back at me.
They drizzle sounds and trickle scents
remind me of my memories
lead me to the edge,
and there I claw,
looking for a line to draw
on the peaceful prison wall
that turns my message of escape
back to me,
I read it, lost
my own words
confused by myself.
These walls are thick, many-layered,
and here I am safe to scream
my many voices
that those beyond will hear