This modern failure

I will never be a beautiful woman
I will never be an olympic athlete
I will never be a great painter, architect, physicist, doctor

This modern age, this information age
Provides us with so many examples of how we've failed
Of those who are so much better than we are or will ever be
Do so much better, so much more meaningfully
Than we have within the grasp of our own practicality
We lack any conceivable ability to aspire

I am not that brave, that strong, that handsome
I am not that accomplished, proficient, fluent
And there are more ways to fail than I have words to name them
There are so many, innumerable men and woman
To whom I will never measure up

I feel drowned in the well of accomplishments
of all those men and women who were, are, and will be
so much better than I am

And did I mention that I am too old, too fat,
too unfit, too ugly, too poor, too insensitive, too unlearned
Not fast enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough
not never good enough, not no how
not today, not yesterday, and certainly
not tomorrow.

And who are these paragons beyond my grasp?
I sure don't know any
Not sure I ever met any
It wasn't that obvious I was so lacking, not in person
But all day long, on every channel
In People Magazine and every supermarket rag
I see their faces, I hear their names
They're more ever present than any cousin I ever had

And I didn't invite this comparison
I didn't welcome these insults
Daily, hourly, every quarter hour
Whether I wanted them or not
No one consulted me or got my permission
To hound my every waking hour with my own dysfunctions
What a wonderful idea, to so compare
To engender inferiority on a planetary scale

We've surely made lots of wrong turns on this trip
We're headed towards the cliffs and no mistake
But what can you expect of a people so deficient
For you know you're just like me, wholly inferior
Passive in your own suicide
How broken is that?

 

2010

creative commons