Joseph Fulkerson

You Got Moxy, Kid!

As a writer, or as in any noble pursuit,
from time to time you find yourself
at a point of desperation.
Which is not a bad place to be,
creatively speaking.

On the contrary, being within
these confines seem to activate
a whole new skillset for the individual.

It will make you think differently.
It will make you do abnormal things.
You’ll do what you need to do,
say what would normally go unspoken.
You’ll say what you feel.

For the stark reality is
desperation doesn’t give a shit.

Desperation is the divorced child
of opportunity and talent.

The bastard child of restlessness
and hopelessness.

If desperation was a house,
it would be a single-story ranch
on the corner of Impossible Way
and No Choice Loop.

Desperation finds a way
because there’s no other choice.

It does not care what it looks like,
sounds like,
tastes or smells like.

It prefers to work alone, but at times,
you will find it amongst its friends
chance and luck.

It don’t care about anything
but doing the deed.

Desperation rolls up its sleeves,
pushes talent aside
and does it his damn self.

It seeks out the how and where
and says fuck the why.

It cares very little about your
inconvenience, or your opinion
for that matter.

It pinches its nose, grabs a shovel
and scoops up the steaming pile.

If there isn’t a shovel, he’ll pick up
great big handfuls of it and hurl it
in everyone’s smug little faces.

It doesn’t care.
It doesn’t give a flying fuck.

It takes to the streets and demands
to be heard.

It will march all the way
down main street
to the steps of city hall
to get it done,
Grassroots style.

It will kick in the door
snatch you out of bed
and drag you by the ankles
kicking and screaming into the night.

It’s relentless.

Desperation will either make a fool
or a hero out of you-
your choice.

There’s a razor’s edge
of a difference anyway.

It will either get down on one knee
to propose
or leave you bruised
and bleeding in the gutter,
wrists bound with electrical tape.

Any given day of the week,
in every city of the world
you can watch it play out.

Desperation is the single mom
working three jobs to keep the lights on.

It’s what sends the unemployed dad
out of state looking for work.

It’s what makes the quiet kid
stand up to the bully-
fists clenched; knuckles scraped.

It’s in the eyes of the wrongly accused
or wrongly incarcerated.

It’s on the lips and faces of those
who can’t stand another 12-hour shift

another soulless, bone-
grinding week of menial work
affording only a meager existence.

It fills the bars on Saturday night
and the church pews on Sunday morning,
and sometimes
it is hard to tell the difference
between the two.

It is easier for a man
to stomach failure
than to die with regret.

Pay attention to the man
who has a limp in his walk
and a tremble in his talk,

for that man has wrestled with
success and failure
and his body bears the
scars to prove it.

He has searched
the alleyways and bars,
roamed the midnight streets
howling to the muse for inspiration,
cursing the night
for giving in to the sunrise
of a meaningless new day.

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