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Confessions of a Park Poet

A reflection on my time as a Busker in Central Park

By Ruben De EscapadoPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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CONFESSIONS OF A PARK POET

“What’s your name?”

A question I have been

Actively trying to ask more.

At least as of recent.

People come up to me.

They ask for poems

Expecting fortune-telling.

Wisdom. Prophecy. Remedy.

Or worse.

They want to know about me.

How did I start doing this?

They ask.

How do we do anything?

I ask.

Joke.

Deflect.

My chest screams:

My face smiles.

A “V” for victory on my hand.

They wonder what my experiences must be like

Sitting out here on a park bench?

Talking to strangers?

Doing what I love?

Their pupils tremble under the pressure

of their fleeting patience.

The little they are holding on to

Is digging deep into their palms

So, I tell them the good

About the poems

Of wedding bands

Of loving couples

Of those still holding on

They smile.

Can you do that for me?

Here are my broken pieces

Do they fit your eyes?.

Let me know what you can see

Put them in your eyes.

Can I get a selfie?

I smile with tears that bleed.

I am a little bit broken.

You’re a little bit sad.

Holding you together.

While holding up me.

A history with painful pleasures.

I continue to slaw away.

Burying all of it deep within

Under my typewriter

Below my seat

Deep-deep below the roots

Of pavement flowers

To be eaten by worms of past.

The blackest ink of me.

I omit to those catching their breath

Poems of

Post-partum mothers

Flushed cheeks

Streaming tears.

New fathers throwing their wallets.

All reason is out the window.

She believed what he had been saying

All because I happen to say it too.

The baby will be okay.

They will be too.

No knowing.

Only trying.

I omit that story.

I omit,

Girls crying over boys.

Boys trying to win the girl back.

I omit the gay man

Who’s years of longing for more

Longing to be heard

Longing to be looked at

Is fulfilled by my mere willingness

To see his heart and be one too.

Turning me into an object

Of fantasy

One that quenches a desperate thirst

A thirst for decency.

Leaving me on a cold bench

More a statue of an idea.

Less a lonely poet with a dream.

Less a person.

To all the story seekers

I omit the countless

Lesbians

Transgenders

Blacks

Asians

Latinos

Middle-easterenrs.

Arabs

Whites

Catholic

Jews

Muslims

Buddhists

Outcasts

Misfits

Loners

Freaks

Broken like glass, people.

Who are desperate for magic

Magic from a stranger

Who are baffled

Someone will listen

Because someone

Sees the person

Before the classification of their satisfaction

Who they are within

A willingness to love

A willingness to believe

A demand for a better country

How they get through their day

What they see in the mirror

In a world of don’t

Tread on me

In a world of don’t

Offend me

We label

And label

Boxing people into categories

Designed for ideas

Not individuals.

Leaving no room for compassion.

Just rigid acceptance of circumstance

Some things are so out of our control

They feel normal

Did I just say that?

No matter what

We are people

Human beings

Dealing with human shit

So when people come to me

A man desperate to survive

In a world

Where he relates more to a dog on a chain

Where the breeze he is trying to be

Is better weighed down.

Weighed down by the jeopardy of my being

When they come to me, looking

For spiritual salvation

I omit the girl

Far too young

Asking me for a poem about loneliness

A girl with beautiful blue eyes

A girl with a decoration of scars on her wrist

An abstract mutilation

An outward expression

Of the internalization

Of a young spirit

Compartmentalized into a world

Where nobody quite understands

Despite sharing the same pains

I omit

That I think of her everyday

I omit

that I regret not exchanging more information

that I am haunted by the fact

that I don’t know if she is okay

if what I said

if what I wrote

was enough

that I can’t fucking believe

I didn’t ask for her name.

I omit and omit.

Not because I want to lie.

I omit

Because these feel like my burdens

I see it in all your eyes

You can barely handle yourselves

I’ll keep taking the weight

For now

My shoulders are broad

For now

But the days I am not there

The exhibit moves from the bench

I am picking up my pieces

Becoming whole again.

But when I am out there…

I have been doing a better job of asking,

“What is your name?”.

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About the Creator

Ruben De Escapado

Most know me as a poet sitting on a park bench in Central Park. Writing poetry for strangers. Before that I lived a life and learned a few things. Now I listen to what the world had to teach others. Believe in yourself and be honest. Okay.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (1)

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  • Cathy Marshall2 years ago

    Wow, beautiful writing from the soul

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