Spoken Word: Mike Kelly

Spoken Word: Mike Kelly

by | Apr 1, 2020 | Stories


Is there something I’m missing?
I suppose I’ll keep waiting
With the ways that I’ve tried
And there’s a reason I’m filming
Could it be someone’s watching
With an offer of hope?
Is the grace that I’m seeking a person I know?


I should be the one to talk. I would shoot the breeze nightly. Daily chase the dragon and when it breathes, its breath burns red hot. I would trade the dollars in my pocket for a glass of cold milk, shoving money in the till until I’m full-tilt. Half-corked courts the system screwed-up they screw-down that cork tight but that bottle won’t shut. They can’t. They’re not capable to make that change because the problem is a heart that seeks destruction when it can’t stomach pain, plus I’m celiac I’ll take the booze with a kick. Full-throttle what’s the issue when I’m already sick and that engine shouldn’t have started I should have let it sit cold but I was fearful of the morning and tried to limp back home. Well sure enough whoopty-whoop when the sound of this black and white the lights glassed my view. With cuffs around my wrist my face bathed in flashing rays of red and blue. There’s nothing more wrenching than calling home at 2 AM you wake him up to tell him dad I messed up huge.

So tell me of the future while I grip my past cause I stay stuck inside the present with the paves unpathed. They say God will come and meet me right where I’m at but if he’s perfect, why should the Almighty bother with that?

Wrath, well-known but the concept is misunderstood. At times I’d rather hear the word “no”, because what I want is not good. And so still I stand fearful of the Lord I should have cut my hand forever caused me to sin. An expert I spin truth into lies while I’m downing a fifth so I shut my mouth and beat my breast, rip my robes plunge into my chest. Life’s mess watch the chaos of the air I breathe watch me weave a nasty canvas of disgusting themes. Watch a throat become a grave and choke the tongue that speaks. Watch a savior take a cross that I don’t think saves me.

The hurt, bitterness, the anguish in the skies the place a young man goes to let the boy just cry. I set aside the fake smile. I let the mask fall off. I tell the crew that’s in my corner, “Man, I’m scared that I lost.” ’cause last night I went 21 rounds with the thought of my death shadow-boxing with life. I thought it wasn’t much more than a test for the next, a test that I’ve been failing for the past 25. So now I’m hoping by 30 I’d be ready to tell him it’s been a hell of a ride. I’ve never been that good at kissing but that’s a beautiful gun. I wonder if you can taste the bullet before you know that it’s done. The smell of gunpowder twists my head till it spun and the barrel felt cold against the warmth of my tongue. Yikes, that’s a full dinner plate. That’s a bite his friends are praying that he never would take. I shudder to think, “could it be that bad?” Would you really want life left to the mercy of your own right hand? Did you think about mom? Have you considered your dad? Have you thought about the hatred they would carry from the pain that they’d have? No. I hate to say it but it’s not worth that fight. I can’t say it’s worth the therapy sessions or the fear that tends to visit late night. I can’t say it’s worth the prescription of pills that I would rather not pop anymore.

It’s hard to see a life worth living when the beauty is always somehow simultaneously tainted by gore. For example, last week I had a conversation with a working-class whore. Now wait a minute please don’t get offended. I would never call her that. I’m quoting what she said of herself. I cried inside pleading God, “Show us there’s more.” I told her I’d be with her until the brittle boned end. She told me, “Mike, that’s hard to hear because I’m there my friend.” Driving home I cursed the devil screaming at him, “one day you’ll get tagged back for these lies!” as I remembered and he reminded me of the well of tears I saw swell in her eyes.

The class clown carries with him one sound class act. He’s known for pulling stunts by the skin of his back. Me? I passed the popularity test quite well. Came to find that the facade was nothing more than a shell, a hard external surface so they never would find deep down he’s always shaking from the fear inside. I grew accustomed to walking with my head hung low. In terms of self-condemnation I’m the head honcho, a bounty hunter the price of life quite high if I would turn in my own, but the day I went to do it the collector said, “I’m sorry sir this one is out on loan.” She said someone else had cashed in my death and paid the price I owed. Whoa. There’s a promise in the scriptures now I’m holding it tight. A battle of the ages and for the demons they say it won’t be much of a fight. The deepest depths of darkness can’t choke out the faintest glimmer of light, and in the case of God’s angels they’ll be packing weapons of mass bright.

So if you’re out there there’s hope and I’ll be praying we all have ears to hear the next phrase I say. I stand against the shadow of a cross that welcomes us to the brand new way. It’s not easy to get there in fact Christ will show you a thing or two, but along the way you’ll find a friend who actually means it when he says, “I got you.” He told me you’ve been living a life of all ways tried, so if that yoke has gotten heavy why don’t you come try mine?



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