The Way Things Are

The Way Things Are

it can be difficult
       and lonely
           staying in the lane
                  of the way things are
there's temptations
       lots of temptations
             lots of exits
                with lots of different places
                                         to eat
                different that is
                       in terms of variety
                but the same
                       in terms of the same stuff and 
                                        same places
where the restaurants are the same
        as every other exit
              cause they're proven to be
                               what people want
                         or at least
                               good enough for most
into towns
    where there's coffee
         and snacks
             and soft drinks
                 and cigarettes
                      and toilets
                        and unique tourist attractions
into cities
      offering different novelties
            and fantasies
                 and metaphysical nonsense
occasional stops
    in tempting villages
            to fill up
                or fill out
    where you're told
            because you are just like
                            all the rest
                      in the ways you pick them apart
            that it's all the same
                      you and them
            so the smart thing to do
                      the humble thing to do
                                      is exit
not keep driving around 
            that stupid circle freeway
                   or up and down the highway
                              picking them and you apart
                       in the dead of night
                             in the rain
                                    or the snow
                             stuck in confounding congestion
                             with just the radio on
                                           or off
                   thinking for yourself
                           observing for yourself
            and waiting for answers
                   from something like the cosmos
                          or your own limited
                                 capacity for arithmetic
                   whichever comes first
                      if either 
                               dreading sometimes
                                   they may never come
                                  with will and faith
                                        determining not to exit
                                  except for a spell
                           to relieve the aching bladder or belly
                               cause the longer you stay
                                   in somebody else's pit stop
                           the less likely
                                   your own answers 
                                          are to come
all that driving
             in circles
                   is lonely
                       sometimes dreadfully monotonous
                                    and you've gotta do it sober
                             or they'll take the privilege
        and it often seems stupid
             and they'll tell you you're stupid
for not seeing the flaws in yourself
                 the deep deep flaws
                       that are in you
                 that make you flee them
                       in your smugness 
                 flaws so easily seen in them
                       but too deep in yourself
                             to be seen at all
                 you should be ashamed
                    of your smugness
                       and arrogance
                 they will hint
                       or outright say
telling you 
     while the rolling stone gathers no moss
            in its perpetual motion
               it never comes to understand itself either
     so take an exit
                 preferably mine
           and we'll wallow in our flaws
                        and smugness 
                            and ignorance
           it's far less lonely
                      and there's lots to read about it
               instead of just driving in circles
                          just spinning your wheels
                   they say
           the sensible thing to do
                   is exit somewhere
           where there's toilets
                   and cigarettes
                        and sodas
                            and rest areas
                                   for taking off loads
                                       and gathering moss
gathering places for
     meditation and prayers and chants and hymns
          gathering places
                    for the wisest of men 
               present and past 
                    to guide you
               instead of yourself and the silly songs 
                                           on the radio
                       it's such a burden
                                carrying the load by yourself
                       all those lonely days and nights
                              and the anxiety and frustration
                                            of being stuck
                                                  in gridlock
               exit here
                       for some welcomed relief
                              for coffee
                                  and cigarettes
                                      and comfort
                                          and conversation
there's no point in a journey
     without a destination in mind
                  with things to guide you
     attachments to the things
                  everybody crowds around
            the occult
                    or the 
     acceptance of some metaphysical bullshit
            all the stuff 
                    of all the bumper stickers you see
                           as you circle around the freeway
your journey needs a destination
    they say
          so that you 
                like us
                     can finally slow down
                           you fool
but i say
     i like the journey
            and the songs
                 more than the comforts
                     of rallies and revivals
and though i may curse the conditions
     it doesn't make me a hypocrite
for in cursing that which i embrace
i am still aware
            of cherishing it more
                     than the alternative
and not stupid enough
            to demand perfection in what i choose
                     wise enough
                          to accept
                              and acknowledge 
                                   the faults
                                    sometimes graciously
                           other times not
                               because i too
                                     often fault
                           and will not be shamed
                               into exiting
                                    just because i fault
so i embrace the lane
            of the way things are
                 even without knowing what it is
                      accepting that fault 
                          as i accept my own
and pretty sure
     at least
            at the end of most exits
                 is where the highway ends
                        for those who choose it
the end of the way things are
            exchanged for all the other the stuff
out here it's lonely and confusing
            but there's great songs 
                    and a bit of faith to give me comfort
                and when it gets really tough
                        maybe that's okay
            cause the night
                  and the congestion
                       and the gridlock
                  only last so long
                                you gotta know it'll pass
                        you gotta weather the storm
                                     ride it all out
                        before you're back
                                rolling down the highway
                                     back where you belong

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