William S. Friday
December 2021
12. Bill Friday.jpeg

Originally a Citizen Journalist, William S. Friday is the author of two full-length books of poetry, “A Death on Skunk Street” and “Between Love and Orgasms.”  Besides writing poetry, Bill is also the co-founder of Silver Star Laboratory, a small indie press in Long Beach, California, as well as the creator and host of “Human as...”, a podcast currently in development. Bill is a forever resident of Southern California.

THE THEORY OF TEARS

Tears don’t scare me.

I know people hate them,

in themselves and in others,

depending on just how manipulated

tears make them feel.

Manipulated,

not by the tears,

but for the reasons they ow.

There is a theory of tears,

known only by a few.

Not by the ones who cry,

but by the ones who hold it in.

They have learned

all the reasons for them,

and choose not to give them away.

Unmanipulated,

and unmanipulating.

They hold onto the tears

as tightly as they do the theory.

“Tears don’t scare me,”

they say,

as long as I don’t have to see them.

At least that’s their theory.

But the truth about

the theory of tears is this;

that tears are only scary on the inside.

ALONE

I write, alone. 

Or more accurately, with Alone, the gravely destructive monster, inhabiting my more-tender-than-is-healthy human soul. 

 

I write, telling Alone that it can go fuck itself. 

I do this by speaking to the gravely destructive monster called Alone in the only way it understands, in a calm voice, just above a whisper, in words that, when heard, sound a lot like the projections of a sad old man, living at the back side of a wasted life, who’s heart still beats in his chest after the manner of a nine-year-old child, incorruptible as ever. 

 

I write, telling this nine-year-old child, who shares a space inside my more-tender-than-is-healthy human soul that, as long as my words keep pouring out, you will be okay, even though there is a monster sitting next to you. I also tell this nine-year-old child that it will be hard when you are old and sad, but that’s okay too, because you will never have an old, sad heart, and that this is only a simile, or a metaphor.  Could be both.  Who the fuck knows because, you’re a nine-year-old child, incorruptible as ever. 

I write, without rules. Okay, a few rules, because without a few rules, there is only ever chaos, and that is not writing, it is poetic anarchy, like every poet who thinks they are the next goddamn ee cummings, so for the love of an invisible God, capitalize your proper nouns, use periods at the end of complete thoughts, and avoid too many run-on sentences, unless you have more breath in your lungs than you realized before you set your fingers to keyboard, or pen to paper, or thumbs to iPhone, or whatever medium you use to convey your nine-year-old child heart to the world. 

I write, not caring who hears me.  Because at least I’ve heard myself.  And in hearing myself, I still have a chance to be a nine-year-old child, incorruptible as ever. Who grows up to tell a monster it can go fuck itself.