9/23/20: Friends and Associates of a Failure/Maverick/Artist #poetry

9/23/20: Friends and Associates of a Failure/Maverick/Artist #poetry

Part Five begins …

Some people said he was a failure

to his face

They mocked him

He tried to prove them wrong

He accomplished many things

Finished what he started

But it was too late

He would always be a failure in their eyes

And he got angry

The people who said he was a failure

Made money

Cheating widows and orphans out of their pensions

and making jokes about drug abuse

in movies and on TV shows watched in basements

Bilking the losers

and having their pictures taken at society galas

next to justices and CEOs that they didn’t know

He had no respect for what they were

the mediocrity of their work

the meanness of their nature

their ironic lack of confidence

so concerned about what other people thought

as he had been

until he learned who “they” were

and saw their lack of any sense of justice

or excellence.

Then there were the people who saw him as a romantic maverick

A man who followed the beat of his own drum

Those people were “fans”

but they didn’t appreciate his sorrow and suffering

How hard it all was

how alone he often felt

how sensitive it was

how tough it was to be dismissed and insulted all of the time

The fans didn’t see that side of it

They couldn’t imagine the brave maverick even caring what the lemmings thought

The fans gave him more credit than he deserved

Eventually he would learn from their admiration

and learned not to care.

He separated from his critics

who spoke for a dark voice in his own head

He cared too much about unimportant things

and he did live a free life

with a limp

Playing with pain.

Then there were the people who just loved him

Wife, family, the oldest friends

some wise new friends

He was always too concerned about friends

They just happen

You don’t earn them

Friendships are chemical compounds

Certain mixes just form something worthwhile


No assembly required

It was all very wonderful

The nicest aspect of life

The people who loved him

but it had nothing to do with the value of who he was

They loved who he was

irrespective of what he did with it.

Next to last there were the people who saw his work

and recognized its value

not as achievement or success

but simply as something


and just

in process


and product

This affirmation warmed him

but didn’t affect what he did

which was not dependent on response

it couldn’t be.

Finally it was simply


He was writer, director, actor, audience and critic

Not an invented him

A daimon which animated his existence

a natural spark within him

that was created by God

and that he followed

His mind existed to interpret the impulses of his daimon

and the responses of the world.

Politics was the arena where he re-visited his wounds

Art was the field where he understood

and found some clarity and peace.

Everything painful and sweet never disappears

it just becomes



fate is dealt with …

security is an illusion

When things finally seemed to go his way

the omnivorous legions of success threatened to eat all of his hard won abundance

and yet

Fortune never deserted him

No one else could give fortune to him

or take it away.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

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