Sunday, August 10, 2014


I learned how to speak,
without stuttering,
when I wrote.
My insides
were so jumbled,
so chaotic,
so poisoned,
so fearful,
that even when I knew
answers I'd never
raise my hand
in school
or offer them
to those around me.
I kept to myself
thinking that as long
as I didn't have to talk,
I was safe.

Writing became my currency,
my art, my ability
to control
without appearing foolish.
It allowed me to try
and identify
what I was feeling
without choking for air,
getting red in the cheeks,
wanting to die.
I practiced and practiced
and practiced putting it down,
getting it out, studying it,
trying to get the words
to stop wriggling
in order to know
who I was
at any given moment.

Without planning
I aimed at writing
those words as if
I spoke them; having
a naturalness
that belied
the alien
I was.
The more I practiced
the better I got
until the page
& my mouth
were one.
My pen became
my dick, my words
as hard as an adolescent's
erection. I managed
to build a life
around an artifice.

That artifice
is deconstructing:
first the body
then the mind.
Janis was right:
get it while you can.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2014

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