There are places people go to hide away from others, but mostly themselves. The encroaching world always beckons, surrounded by the ceaseless noise of civilized chaos. You can run, but you can’t collide. A cyclic anarchy, bouncing off the resilience from indomitable spirit, overcoming all fears. The local bar was always a good spot to hide that big old noggin full of fluff. A cue ball smack crashes around, rolling along on a green felt landscape. Lost souls without poetic license, broken, bent, and withering sans a permit or reprieve for the laws of imaginary unfeeling gods. But which god will do? The merciful, loving kind? Or a vengeful, almighty one? Charles Bukowski wrote, “I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. It didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone.”
A place where the past never passes. The future phones up, in tandem with clumsy present moments. Hidden in a shabby room limbo. Those holes in the wall of your skull. The tiny window lets in a muted ray of purgatory light. Never knowing if it’s day or night. Maybe a TV, on the fritz, fuzzy as the static thinking shared with yourself. A constant disorder beyond repair. Like the secluded dark bar, so peaceful and quiet on any occasion. Alone, not lonesome. One perfect cue break sends them banging on a roll into the black hole pool pockets, never to be seen again. It’s not that simple but an easy out, with no destination, a lack of direction, or perfect unknown. The place you want to be, for now. All bets are in, as it were.
Take your best shot from the loving cup. A fancy trick bank shot. Yet, even in the darkest bars, the places that were once common comfy hideaways are few and far between. The ones still standing have lost their appeal. Possibly because of strict no-smoking laws, plus the high cost to sit and drink. The rule of law is not the final word. There's a gap of silences in between those spaces where time stood statuette still. The din of modern times pervades even the most clandestine hideouts. In my experience, bars and poets go together naturally, like toast and butter, without all the jelly.
There’s a word to describe that feeling. It’s a fancy one, apanthropinization. A rare word from the lexicon of pretentious wordplay. It defines the act of removing yourself from modern society and humanity. Stress, confusion, and turmoil creates high anxiety manifested by sensitive-feeling people, like poets and artists. So, apanthropinization is harsh to swallow. The origin stems from a primal desire to lust for basic beauty. The order of the natural world. Not to shut out everything and become a hermit, or sequester in a dim place because of bitterness or anger, although there’s plenty enough of that to go around. But, instead retreats to inner realms, captivated by balance, admiration, and respect for all things, beautiful or ugly. A dark romantic symmetry out of whack. That sublime derangement of the senses. Divine madness in a fevered dream machine. Only time reveals what happens when we go forward beyond the real. That ideal reality deconstructed, unscrewed to expose the truest self. Taken aback, bare naked truth with a side note of love, the thrill of shining on.
What makes the poet a loner, painting a picture of innumerable words? Without all the pontificating, and self-absorbed righteousness, down to the bare bones of creation. Attempting to make sense from nonsensical discourse. No statement reveals more than the act of making something from thin air. To neither lead, nor follow the pack, a lone wolf must hunt or starve. There are so many types of poets and poetry. The academy poets have no clue about the street poets, just as the rich have no concept of the poor. It’s a frayed tightrope walk to cross over. The endless sky above, the unforgiving ground below, there’s only one way to proceed. Go it alone, or follow the leader. There’s no greater authority than freedom of choice. It’s your last call. To burn bright, a red-hot coal, waiting to become a diamond.