It’s pathetic in the classic sense, egregious waste
To spend a world on what he thinks he is. He tastes,
But finds no flavour, sees the page, but in his haste
He reads and cannot spell. The crooked line is chaste
Enough to him and more or less he owns the knack to be
Perceived as top dog at the corner street arcade
Before divisions in the stable force his hand. He raids
His lifetime’s fortune fortified and buttressed by animosities
To what existed well before all witnesses to the crime had stepped aside.
His way’s engraved on every schoolyard jungle gym and sandbox slide.
It does not fall to him to raise objection, cop a plea, to cease or to resist
A new-mint shiny dime or shoot the moon’s deposits in the skies.
Addiction’s child plays the labyrinth of paradox, dilemma, and enigma’s lists
Of what’s been overlooked and what misfortune’s kissed–
“O WORLD, I cannot hold thee close enough!”* And so he must.
He’ll play that card until the bar is closed, until his dollar’s been reduced to rust.
* …from “God’s World” by Edna St. Vincent Millay