Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Verses From a Long Time Ago

John Hancock or lack thereof
September 17, 2002
June 13, 2006

the 800th poem about how depressed and misunderstood I am.

I live inside a cage
Where sometimes I'm a jester
But mostly I'm a freak:
A part set off alone

Against the passing clatter
Of unattended giggles
Left cold and unexplained
When none of you quite trust me,

I open up myself.
I lay myself in words
Directly and with zeal;
I'm jealous of success.

Secured in my habit,
Still wretched in self-pity,
I open up again,
And all I find are bowels

I spread across the floor.
I tried to make more sense
Of truth in my position;
I'm unprepared as always.

You hear, but never listen,
And still refuse to read me.
It's easy to be blind,
To rule with lady justice.

Her cold and crooked scale,
That now ignores the past,
And then ignored the future
Weighs whispers against pain.

I've been in here before
With people once called "friends."
I just defend my honor.
Please tell me what is wrong!

I'm not allowed to face
The people that accuse me
Before an honest jury.
It's easier this way.

Assume my lack of sense.
Assume I will explode.
Assume my lurking fury
Will break my self-restraint.

I tried to write for you
Then tell you what I am,
But none of you would listen
Past "Shit" and "Bitch" and "Legion."

You don't want me inspired.
You don't want me at peace.
I'll stay inside this cage
And entertain forever:

No mate inside my bars,
A jester and a freak
No Act of Faith awaits me.
I'm pitied, cursed at, blamed.

If prison makes you safe
In truth made from your fiction,
I'll keep my pen well-fed,
And publish from the inside.

I'll keep the pretty verses
I write for your critique.
I wish for only candor
In everything you say.

I'll give you what you want:
I'll walk off with myself,
Shut out and then shut up,
deliberate and graceful.

You all deserve that much,
And I will give it freely.
Avoid the Act Of Faith:
Don't burn me like the rest

Or pack me in cold towels.
Ice is for bruises,
Sedation for sleep,
Never are they Justice.

I choose the basest ending:
A grand goodbye with smiles.
Most of you feign friendship,
But bid me leave with silence.

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