Honest Men are Cheats

On winter days,
even at the heart of the gulf of Texas;
Sugar Land, Texas
to be exact
my mother always told me to
stay inside
where it was warm and safe
where the bitter cold,
or the murderers or the rapists
or life
couldn't hurt me.

but I knew better
than to listen to her words,
of caution, of reproach
she had taught me better.

I am an honest man,
or at least I'd like to think so
I am not ashamed of giving credit
where it is due.

But who wouldn't?
(like to think they were honest men, that is)
the murderers? the rapists?
surely they had mothers too
who had nurtured them
taught them the virtues of an honest man
surely, they were honest men too
at least
some of
the time

this was this,
and that was that
until one day
I met a man with a burley black mustache
the most honest of men, perhaps
who showed me what a lie I was living!
he knew nothing of this "honesty"
i spoke of
but seemingly knew all there was to know about men;
and women I suppose -
this man, and his black burley mustache
showed me this was that
and this, was
nothing at all.

there are some that take pleasure in being
what they think, is an "honest man"
spending their entire lives
next to their mothers,
where the cold or the rapists
or the murderers
or life
can't hurt them.
and they are honest men, too.
for what do they know?
(that with every day, every step
every breath of their comfortable
petty lives, they are lying)

To themselves.

And this profound conclusion
was made possible by that man
with the burley black mustache
whom I met on the philosophy shelf
at a bookstore no one has ever heard of
at the corner of nowhere
and nothingness.
It took a man of real honesty
to show me
that my only mother was fate
and it was my destiny to remain
forever by her side -
no matter where I went,
what I did
and what women I slept with.

Now I see
my mother taught me
how to be an honest man

Sure, I steal sometimes
and lie even more often
and swear wilder than the
rowdiest of cowboys-turned sailors
I am an honest man,
(to myself, at least)

Some men, who claim to be honest.
Also claim we need more compassion
more love, more humanity
more Jesus
and less aboritions
but in my honest opinion,
all this world really needs
is a few more honest men


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