Some women, will give you a chance

they will coax it out of hiding

They will work for it

while others, cut it off

and it slinks away

like an inch worm

trying to find another cuby-hole

to hide in.


Some days,

you must hide

from reality.

There is no escape.

You are doing time

in prison,

writing on a wall.

It’s the only power

that you have.


What is writing?

It’s commercial

and packaged


a dozen different things,

I find sickening,

but I believe in

the simple poem.


I am a King

because of poetry.

I might be doing anything.

My kingdom

could be a cubical

smaller than a cell

but I am free,

if I can write poetry.


I might be asked

to fight in battle,

or go into the board room

and fall on my sword,

or my ass–

it doesn’t matter,

if I can write a poem.


“Why are you so calm?” I am always asked.

Because it’s worth more to me

than all the money

in the world.


When the bombs start dropping

people won’t know what to do,

and I will be there writing,

just the way I plan to

when I am lying in my bed

getting ready to die.


The world won’t care.

It forgets celebrities

in less than a week.

All that matters

is what I care about

like writing this poem,

for instance.


7 thoughts on “Aphorisms on Writing, Prison, and Losing Your Manhood

  1. Awesome! It reminds me of something E.E. Cummings wrote… here’s an excerpt:

    To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

    As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time — and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.

    If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.

    And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

    Does that sound dismal? It isn’t.

    It’s the most wonderful life on earth.

    Or so I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

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