By Keith Niles

The fact that Iím a suddenly middle aged man with
lava lamps in the living room of his one bedroom
apartment, up all night compiling cds and slapping
cheese tacos onto the dingy burners of his stove,
traipsing blindly through young girl minefields,
breaking down and beating off and thrashing back
wildly against the brutal viccisitudes of luck, fuck,
this fact, these facts are not lost upon me, but it feels
true, what can I say, what can I do?

The fact that I slack back and take whacks at the pot
pipe at this point in my life then dash out into the
night to rage through drunken storms along rank
strangers staggering home later to again engage the
notebook page is not strange to me if not altogether
sage, believe me, I know, trust me, I seeÖ.

I have earned all my newfound freedom, have
surfaced from years of suspended claymation, seen
the truth, Iíve grown out of personas of shyness and
competence and failure, personas that never quite fit
me, domesticity and work and normalcy, Iíve
sprouted again, grown a soul, and donned the
wingtips of youth.

So if you spot me through the blind late Thursday
night bathed in blue light, high, lava roiling,
bobblehead triangulated between oversized
speakers, leafing through lyrics and dreaming of
fruition, wet Modello in off hand, right leg humping
the couch as the groove insists itself upon the
vicinity, if you see me filling notebooks black with
shallow adolescent lacks of this and lacks of that,
girls and drunk-ons and friendless sads, fighting
back against the forces real or imagined that are
charring me black, if you see me trying too hard to
star in this whatever play in which Iíve weaseled a
bit part, know this, know that, know that Iíve
worked hard to be free, that Iíve earned every last
bit of innocence you might see and everything else
is just me--itís just me!

keith niles is a hermit whose natural habitat is a dank 1 bedroom in los feliz,
california. he subsists on sunflower seeds, modellos with limes, and an odd unending

© 2003 Underground Voices