Life of Savage

Poem By Vijay Seshadri

I've been excited about him as an individual.
I've met him as a person, emerging from his own shadow.
Indeed it is remarkable.
Indeed it is to be remarked of my friend Savage that
the desolation of hopes not merely deferred
but by impracticability brutalized
little marred his genial spirit.
How such a one, so circumstanced by parentage—
the mother crippled by disappointment; the father by rotgut and Percodan—
as to blight his prospects, and blacken with untimely frost the buds
of those ambitions justly excited
by manifest powers, graces, and propensities,
should nonetheless display
discrimination not inferior to those we deem wise,
sympathy judicious and above reproach,
is cause for a wonder neither cynicism can besmirch nor incredulity subvert.
In and out of juvie, jacking cars at fifteen,
snorting lines of Adderall, his nostrils stained blue,
kicked out, taken back, kicked out,
busted, paroled, busted again,
straining to reach the shiny object fallen through the grate,
tantalizing, just beyond his fingers,
finding and losing God,
thinking as he rakes the leaves of the linden tree
outside the sublet bungalow
that eating, sleeping, dying are what it's all about,
nothing else, maybe a few sunsets,
forget about sex.

Comments about Life of Savage

You write in heightened poetic diction. An insightful depiction of outrageous waywardness, well articulated and elegantly brought forth with conviction. A lovely poem indeed. Thanks for sharing Vijay. Please read my poem MANDELA - THE IMMORTAL ICON.


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Sequence

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Dead friends coming back to life, dead family,
speaking languages living and dead, their minds retentive,
their five senses intact, their footprints like a butterfly's,
mercy shining from their comprehensive faces—

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The mountain that remains when the universe is destroyed
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Big and small are

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The house collapsed and I was crushed under the rubble,
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walking around as if I were alive — 

the swain,
with an oxeye daisy in my buttonhole,
the bitter voluptuary, never satisfied,
the three-legged dog,
the giant under the tiny parasol at
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the only Abyssinian in the choir of the
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(Somebody must have done a self-portrait of me.)

Just amazing. I think I could wrap my arms all the way around
the 24,901-miles-circumferenced Earth.