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Uber Alpha - swan song for the big man's blind spot

Dedicated to masculinity’s shadow.

When someone says you’re awesome, do you say, “I know I am!”?
When they say that you can do it, do you say, “I know I can!”?
When they say that you are gorgeous, have you tickled them with flirting?
If the answer’s ‘yes’ then I can tell you, you are hurting.

When compliments are given to you, how do you receive them?
If compliments upset you, could it be you don’t believe them?
If, when you are congratulated, all you do is smirk,
You need to listen carefully; this system doesn’t work.

You may not want to hear that your way of being’s broke.
You may not want to look beneath – not that kind of bloke.
So is it better, then, to just pretend that you are fine,
Whilst, underneath the armour, you begin your slow decline?

When you lie in bed at night with nothing but your thoughts,
With one hand nestled snugly in your favourite boxer shorts,
What is it you think about? Where is it you go?
Do you get there fast or do you take the journey slow?

When you phone a friend is it someone that you love
(even though you hide it by addressing them as ‘bruv’)?
Or is it just a dude with whom it’s fun to shoot the breeze
In a pub, like Alpha Pirates who have crossed the Seven Seas?

Yes, it’s fun and jolly. It’s a way to pass the hours.
But activities like these will rarely sow the seeds of flowers:
When you’re old, d’you want your garden desolate and bare?
Maybe you’re all right with this. Maybe you don’t care.

But if you like the vision of your garden plush and green,
You’re going to have to recognise your fear of being seen.
Being truly seen’s a gift like monatomic gold
For your garden, for your coffers: it will serve you when you’re old.

But it takes a certain courage to allow the world to see you,
To relinquish the pretence that everybody wants to be you,
To give to other people in a full committed way,
Even when you do not know how long you’re going to stay:

To say “it doesn’t matter, ’cause I shan’t be here tomorrow,”
Will pave the way to empty coffers, shame, remorse and sorrow.
And just in case you haven’t understood, I will be blunt:
It’s time for you to cut the crap, you self-indulgent ____.

19th April 2013 ©Simon Welsh Poetry

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