Having to say everything a particular way,
to be on-code, to speak according to the party line, to be complacent,
to have your every word tracked, considered,
people I barely know,
lackeys and pleasers,
those bored enough to be interested
in what I said years ago?
If we're lucky, we get 80 years
and I hope to develop a diamond core
that enables me to be unbroken
by the complaints of weaklings.
I don't travel through the valley of the shadow
nor the obviously alliterative willows;
I'm not the drunk, broke artist,
nor overtly sexual for its own sake--
but, if I were, I'd be no worse
because you can't force the words to behave
by simply putting them in neat rows,
harmonious like the movements
of the assembly line
where the same thoughts are assembled
by people who talk the same,
look the same,
all seeking unity with perfection,
without the acknowledgement of wrinkles,
spots, bad hair days, missed shots,
sneezes, farts, illness,
problematic family members,
trauma of all sorts. Let's not acknowledge,
but pretend to be perfect and preach perfection,
till bombs fall and demagogues like whirlpools
grab gullible minds,
dragging them, uniting them in the deep,
but they're not cared for by the ocean
spare the food they provide.
An elder told me my proximity to tombstones
makes me immune to this living and I get closer
Before, they would just take you to a wall
and shoot you.
Now they operate on your throat and let you go
to sit among the snickering folks
who talk plenty but say nothing either
but you wouldn't know because there are so many.
'How can billions of people be wrong?', ask burning forests and
dull crops and full hospitals
and graveyards and meritless wealth distribution,
and the fevers, and the guns-- so many guns.
It's true I might not be great,
but certainly no worse.
Vultures fly over the bones
of opinionated people,
they peck at the dead flesh
they sit on trees to look at the skulls
When the sun is at its peak,
you can smell artist legacies.
The museum is empty;
the stadium is full.
The Television holds on
to my zombie eyes (we're just passing
The vultures say we taste the same,
that our bones look alike
so let me say what I please.