Ballad of the Mediocre This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 27, 2011
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In the morning, I arise,
The world’s parody before my eyes.
The T.V. is still playing its montage
Of happiness and open skies
And routine plays the puppet master,
Tugging my strings; slower, faster.
My body draped in reluctant camouflage,
Dully hidden from life’s disaster
Or any chance of special prize.

I toe the median, flanked by happy and dead,
Fixed to the boring line of mediocre bliss.
Any importance stays safe within my head.
In the beginning I wanted none of this,
But, I guess, we never do.
The sky is blue, but never blue,
Its colors false, like a drunken kiss.
Nothing true is ever true.

But there is time before the night;
Time to make the wrong things right.

In the streets the beautiful women dance.
They pass me by without a glance.
For a second, my heart’s aflame,
But I do not take an empty chance.
I walk by in accepted shame.
Who else do I have to blame?
The stains on my shirt?
The wasted years?
No, do not succumb to tears.
Ha! My emotions hidden by my fears.
I am the worst parts of every race:
Proud, but scared to show my face.
The women pass by in shimmering grace.

In the shadows of the afternoon,
Oh my, is it the afternoon?
The touch of night is coming soon
And I have walked these busy streets,
Filled with nothing but retreats.
I cannot seem to find my feet,
And yet they walk, and stop, then flee
Forever until eternity;
I am a slave to the world’s parody.
A man in a clean shirt entertains
The graceful women; my color drains
And in the shadows, I curse my stains.
I am the mollusk in a sea
Of meaningless nothings and cups of tea.

But oh! Is there time before the night?
Time to make the wrong things right?

As night approaches, I confront the question;
The most bravery I have shown thus far.
The shadows offer their suggestion:
I embody the sub-par,
The silent, brooding fixture at the bar
Who see nirvana across the room,
Her flowery figure still in bloom.
Oh! My emotionbs slowly burn
And lay as ashes in their urn.
I cough; she does not turn
But walks out, jingles the bell, signals doom.
Oh! Lay me early in my tomb!

At midnight, the city lights are faded
(Through my filthy window, smeared with grimy brown).
The streets, where the beauty once paraded
Seem empty, but I would not know: my head is down.
My hands explore the pockets of my gown.
I know I have no more excuse,
My being is of no more use,
But was it ever?
Or did I fool myself to endure my endeavor?
To endure mediocrity until forever.

There is no more time, I am the night;
And the wrong things are past the hope of right.

At last I decide to walk away
From the ghosts of the awful day;
From the imprints of the wasted walks;
From empty streets and empty talks.
I tell myself it’s all okay,
That others also feel this way:
Like a mollusk in the sea,
Not satisfied with cups of tea.
But really, what else is there?
The city streets are far from bare.
But I hadn’t noticed, my courage was not enough to lift my eyes,
But then again, I wouldn’t really care:
I’ll face them tomorrow when I arise.

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