Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Beat It

They laughed at struggle and tears
fears and nomads wandering
in the dust of explanation

Scowled at happiness
written on beach sands

Frowned at roaming
aimlessly wherever tides of wind
took the soul as faintly delivered spirits
roared in adoration

But me
I beat drums into a panic
and spread myself thinly
over cobblestone
tarmac, pebbles, and dirt
remembering only
the lack of wherewithal
that claimed the life of my pant-less dog
how I had to bury him
on the side of the road
on the outskirts of Meadville
after it stopped raining

Crying did not erase
the blisters I'd developed
from using a plastic fork
and leaving it as a grave marker
one I'd never revisit

Betsy (my blue Chevy)
ran out of gas near Echo Town
so I hollered into the canyon
but no one heard
but my own voice

Walking makes no sense
with these feet
but a traveler sometimes has no other choice
but to let fate blow into the air and move along

Yup, beat life until it finally beat me
and I was left with a blank stare
that had run out of paper, pencil lead,
and patience

– Renee Matthews-Jackson

For Renee Matthews-Jackson poetry is her passion. The poet from Cleveland, Ohio is also a playwright and accomplished actor. Renee made her theater debut in 1987 in Joseph A. Walker's classic, The River Niger at the world famous, Karamu House Performing Arts Theatre.

 Beat It! was inspired by a quote from Jack Kerouac's San Francisco Scene, “...and everything is going to the beat – It's the beat generation, it be-at, it's the beat to keep, it's the beat of the heart, it's being beat and down in the world and like old time lowdown and like in ancient civilizations the slave boatmen rowing galleys to a beat and servants spinning pottery to a beat...”


  1. Wonderful, wonderful...I can't say anymore I just loved this beat inspired poem. It just echoes Kerouac!

  2. a traveler sometimes has no other choice
    but to let fate blow into the air and move along

    killer lines...and love that last stanza as well...

  3. Your story (and your poetics) convinced me!