ode to gold – jesse lee pacheco

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The moments I feel most lonely
are when I remember
I am not a coffee can full of gasoline

I am not a race car
in a black and white photograph
seemingly ripping a ditch into the universe
with a number etched into the side of my soul

I am not a prospector
chewing canary bones and digging for danger,
nor am I a coal miner
painting my skin daily
with the dankest of doom

I am not a boxer,
I am a punching bag
hanging in a sweat lodge
nailed to the blocks
forever waiting for the blank bullet
of a starter pistol

I have given into comforts
I have lost the panic of motivation
the friction of chattering teeth
no longer keeps me warm
my heart is glued back together

But where does that leave me?
This is not my first grave
This is not the first time I’m lamenting
a status that I never really had

I’m spinning off in every wrong direction
keeping my eyes peeled for the next
road of gold
The next masterpiece to dream
and steal
and squander

Until then, here I am
with another man’s lapels
in my clenched fists
in the middle of some house party
embarrassing myself to death


SBGS December

Jesse Lee Pacheco is a performance artist from Denver, CO. He’s a founding member of the Atlantic City arts collective, a group dedicated to exploring new artistic spaces and forms. Although he considers himself a multidisciplinary artist, poetry has a special place in his heart. He uses poetry to turn himself inside out, bringing his deepest parts to the surface. He would like to dedicate this piece to his brother Noah, for always believing in him.

Photo: Daniel van den Berg

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