Are you Sisyphus or are you Tantalus?
Is there even a way to tell them apart?
Desire and need and failure all spell out
the same tragedies: ultimate damnation,
craving something that is just out of reach.
When I was in school, they loved to ask
what we would do with our lives,
then refused to accept the lines by which
I had chosen to trace my future.
Art, it turns out, is both apple and boulder.
You can try and you can succeed,
the privilege of good fortune carved
onto palm readings and tarot cards,
but first there is the struggle,
first there is rolling back down.
There is hunger for a day when frustration
won’t be your immediate response
to the voices inside your head,
who urge you to give them life.
They too are starving.
The push is desperation, I know,
but what other path could you take?
If you stop reaching for the fruit,
it would be like fading away,
it would be letting the gods win.