Joseph Fulkerson

The Lifespan of a Successful Failure

More and more I feel like I’m hurtling towards
a vast expanse of nothingness.

Like I’m late for a date with no one or nothing
in particular, but late all the same.

I’m a hungover hangdog
a misfiring misfit,
grasping at signs of life
in one last ditch effort
to feel something real.

I’m a genuine wino
a whining fake
and a successful failure
of a human being.

Considered a success by society’s
standards, but a sellout to the man
and to compromise and cowardice.

I’m a burnt up burnout,
sleepwalking through life
with an understanding it may
all end with a whimper.

A husk of a man
with lofty goals, yes
but no drive left
at the end of the day.

One who’s spent all his time
and energy on the wrong people
at the wrong time.

I’ve used up all my youth
on the hustle
on chasing the dream,
whatever the fuck
that could be.

What’s left is a half-wit has-been
masquerading as a man with a plan.

A wife, two kids
and a pension that likely won’t
be there when I need it.

Every day is a lonely slog.

But when I sit down to write
the Muse is there
and she tells me things,
some things I know
and some I don’t
but I listen all the same.

Sometimes she says nothing at all,
so we just sit there together
as the jazz plays
and the whiskey goes down
smoother with every drink

and it’s good,
and I start to feel better about things,
like maybe it’s not all piss and shit after all.


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