During the Los Angeles Poetry scene of the late 1980’s into the early ’90’s, John Blyth Barrymore III was a staple poet and poetry supporter.

John Barrymore photo by Yvonne de la VegaAn actor, a director and educator, he writes his poetry in a matter-of-factually confessional style, drawing imagery that haunts the Angeleno ghosts within most of us. John’s eccentric humor that is a cross of slapstick and raunch, is unintimidating and honest, but at all times hilarious. As an acting coach the humor is in the title of his acting workshop: “Act Like A Barrymore”.

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Currently writing an autobiography, his memoirs are entitled, “The Sins of The Father” while “The Middle Path”, the following poem by Barrymore, is a quick look at what to expect in the forthcoming book from this multi-talented and iconic poet who states that his DNA is to blame for most of his adventures, short comings and attempts toward moderation. The famous Barrymore Family has for many generations been known for superior acting skills in the theater and early film.

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John Barrymore‘s future theater performances are eagerly awaited by many as he is set to do in “Hamlet” as well as “Barrymore” by William Luce. 

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THE MIDDLE PATH

by John Blyth Barrymore III

The middle path

is the hardest road

for a man to walk with grace.

I’ve spent my life

in a cold dark cell or else,

well, lost in space.

My heart full of peace, harmony, love,

greeting each one with a smile.

Or hanging out down

on Hooligan Street

with O.J., Erik and Lyle.

People would say

as I traveled their way,

“There goes John;

he’s sober and chaste.”

Or else they would point

as I lit up my joint and say,

“There goes John; what a waste.”

A fit vegetarian,

healthy of frame,

living on sunlight and seeds.

Or making my way

down to Tom’s Number 5

to score a cheeseburger

with speed.

Then back in A.A.,

at least for a day,

with a promise never to swerve.

Or down a dark alley

with a spike in my arm,

determined to fry that last nerve

It’s a struggle, my friends,

to live a moderate life

when your personality

leans to extremes.

Some said it was youth

but to tell you the truth,

I think that it’s mostly

my genes.

Nevertheless moderation’s my goal;

my resolve is unsurpassed…

(Hope springs eternal

in the heart of a man who

refuses to learn from his past).

Still this is my row,

though it’s a hard one to hoe,

and I frequently feel God’s wrath

When I come to that

three-tined fork in the road,

I’ll head for the middle path.

~ John Barrymore III

 

This post is from Los Angeles Poetry Examiner’s Friday Pick

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About Poet de la Vega

I'm Yvonne de la Vega and I love everyone.

One response »

  1. Great article … Great Poem!! When will we see a book from John?

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