L is for life.

| May 5, 2014

L is for Life by Joe Brainard.  Joe Brainard is one of my favorite poets.  I appreciate the general style of his writing—simple, honest, and candid.  While I also appreciate poetic forms, Brainard’s poetry works alone and unstructured.  Life is one of my favorite of Brainard’s poems.  I find it especially poignant because Brainard died at the age of 53 from AIDS related complications.  I do not know if Brainard was aware that he was HIV positive when he composed this poem, but regardless, it is quite haunting.

Life by Joe Brainard

When I stop and think about what it’s all about I do come up with some answers, but they don’t help very much.

I think it is safe to say that life is pretty mysterious. And hard.

Life is short. I know that much. That life is short. And that it’s important to keep reminding oneself of it. That life is short. Just because it is. I suspect that each of us is going to wake up some morning to suddenly find ourselves old men (or women) without knowing how we got that way. Wondering where it all went. Regretting all the things we didn’t do. So I think that the sooner we realize that life is short the better off we are.

Now, to get down to the basics. There are 24 hours a day. There is you and there are other people. The idea is to fill these 24 hours as best one can. With love and fun. Or things that are interesting. Or what have you. Other people are most important. Art is rewarding. Books and movies are good fillers, and the most reliable.

Now you know that life is not so simple as I am making it sound. We are all a bit f*cked up, and here lies the problem. To try and get rid of the f*cked up parts, so we can just relax and be ourselves. For what time we have left.

Source:  http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/life?utm_source=PAD%3A%20Life%20by%20Joe%20Brainard&utm_campaign=poemaday_031113&utm_medium=email