Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It Was LAST Month? (fifth and final entry)

I started writing as a little child.

Poems and songs sprang from my developing imagination at, roughly, age eight and beyond. I did a lot of songwriting and poetry-writing between 1974 (when I was 17, 18) and 1982. Most of these songs and poems were only shared with my closest friends. Some of the songs were introduced to small segments of the world via a handful of bands I fronted in the very late 1970s and early 1980s.

Speaking objectively after several days of re-reading my old shit stuff, I can honestly say that I think that some of the songs and poems I wrote were pretty good. A few -- like the Morrisonesque poems I wrote circa 1981 -- really stank. Most fell somewhere in between.

I've spent the last few days sharing songs from thirty years ago, more or less. I wanted to end this streak of poetry posts with something more recent.

And I did find something that fits... But first, one of my typically wordy introductions.

Unlike my previous four posts, I'm not sure when this poem was originally written. Sometime in the early 1990s, IIRC. I was working as one of three overnight bakers in a supermarket chain. The store I was stationed at was, at that time, open 24 hours a day.

One morning, well after midnight but long before dawn, I was in the far corner of the bakery frying doughnuts when one of the other bakers walked up to me and said something to the effect of "Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?" I replied.

"A woman just asked me to write on a cake for her."


"She had me write 'I
love you, but good-bye' on it!"

I immediately thought of three or four reasons why someone would want to express that sentiment to someone else -- most involving cheating lovers with guilty consciences -- but couldn't get over the idea of having those sentiments put on a
cake! "Wow," I told him, "If someone gave me a cake with that written on it, I'd either thrown it out onto the lawn, or right at her!" He agreed with me.

But naturally, I walked away thinking, "There just
has to be a song or a poem I can get out of that!"

And there was, of course. So here it is.

* * * * *

I Love You. Good-Bye

I woke last night, and washed my face, and roughly rubbed it dry.
The towel held your perfume's trace. It nearly made me cry.
I went back to the cold, cold bed that seemed so warm before,
And fought the tears and creeping dread till you walked in that door.

Neither of us had to speak. We both knew where you'd been.
You do this three, four times a week and then come sneaking in.
I'd like to play your games, your way, and beat you at this race,
But when I try, I just can't stay. The girls all have your face.

You won't see me cry.
You won't see me cry.
I love you.

I guess there's nothing I can do to keep you true to me.
It must be me; it can't be you. I wish that I could see
A way to change your life, and mine, just like a fairy tale,
And leave this rotten life behind. But if I tried, I'd fail.

You care enough to still come home, yet let me die by inches.
Your love's the cruellest thing I own. It pulls, it cuts, it pinches.
There's nothing here I care to pack, so next time you go cheating,
I'll leave for good ere you come back, to save me one more beating.

You won't see me cry.
You won't see me cry.
I love you.

* * * * *

See? This is why I stopped writing poems and songs over ten years ago (with rare exceptions). My regular stuff is depressing enough, but the poems and songs were worse!

Okay, fellow babies, here's the plan: Tomorrow is my "Theme Thursday" entry for this week. Friday or Saturday will bring an announcement of sorts, and after the weekend, I plan to debut what will probably be a four-part story. Each subsequent chapter will appear on a Monday.

Anyway, as I said, that's the
plan... subject to last-minute changes, as always.

Thanks for your time.


  1. Depressing? Somewhat, maybe. But in I Love You. Goodbye, there is also a quiet strength of spirit and resolve. A part that says, I am better and worth more than this.

  2. I thought this worked well - I wouldn't have called it depressing... just true to life?

  3. i hear willie nelson in there somewhere...cruel love. interesting story to back it up, makes me wonder as well...

  4. Well written, David. I read this during my walk from the bus stop to my office building this morning, and I think for the rest of the day I am going to have Soft Cell / Marc Almond singing, "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" going through my head. I've already had it on continuous playback in my head for about an hour now. Gosh I haven't actually HEARD that song in AGES!

  5. wow,this is great!Just love it.
    I have written depressing stuff as well.It seems easier to write about it.I really like the way you write and your blog.
    Have a nice day

  6. I was part of that, David. I felt the sadness and the resolve not to cry, and the relief of mental decision. It was beautifully sad and so well written.

  7. I loved that one. I really did. I was also interested by the story behind it...what if the chick with the cake was going to kill herself? I mean, think of the story you could get out of that! You walk in and you see a cake with candles lit and dripping wax and you're like, "Humm, did I forget our anniversary?" and then you walk into the bathroom and lies your wife in a bathtub surrounded by water and blood...when you read the cake it says "I love you but goodbye"? Whatda think? Short story in the making here? lol

  8. Not depressing, more heartbreaking. The girls all have your face!? uggg! But is this not the stuff that makes us cling to songs, turns them into classics...Cohen's Suzanne comes to mind here. You tell the story, but not in the crying, loving, leaving way, rather in a this is life and it really sucks right now way. Let us eat cake! You need to be writing, David...seriously...even if its on cake tops!

  9. Oooh, Cohen fan? Remind me to send you a link to a multi-part prose story of mine sometime.


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