Subject Matter

I've been learning how to skateboard.
It is a fairly formidable task, difficult to master,
Kind of like smoking.
The first time you try, you're thinking,
'this isn't so hard'

Then about four cigarettes later you lay
On the floor in near convulsions,
Puking a literal fire-hydrant spray of gray,
Onto the extinguished back seat of your friend's mother's car.
Rough indeed.

The entire body has taken on a vorpal spin,
Naiveté is blocking the connection
Between cigarette and illusory death-state,
So in return you feel as if you are approaching that fabled
Situation of unendurable loss.

In your mind you try to make bargains with higher beings,
To whom of which you have utterly denied up 'til now,
Selling your soul, becoming their servant,
Teaching of the divinity.
Knowing it's all just bullshit but hoping in that moment of need
that it's not.

An hour later your stomach cramps are subsiding,
You want to get drunk.
You do get drunk.
The hour after that is spent in the back seat,
Running through all the old mantras.

In hindsight, everyone should learn to smoke,
Helps you cope with the shit of life,
Like learning to skateboard when you're too damn old.

Nathan Hall

If you've any comments on his poem, Nathan Hall would be pleased to hear from you.