Wednesday, April 22, 2015


You don't know
what you're getting
into: an icebox
or cauldron.
You don't know
how the cord
you've come from
once it's
How unfortunate
not to have skins
like the rhino
or the freedom
of a fish.
we're at the mercy,
(for such
an ungodly time),
of lunatics
who've been mothered
by other lunatics.
They're drunk
or broke or
broken or
both; they scream
& curse
& fondle
their charges.
They abandon
or ignore
or shame
they can.
And those
are the lucky ones.
They haven't been
bounced against walls,
or tied to their beds
for days or weeks.
They haven't been
pissed on
or touched
or fondled
or fucked.
But none
are really
Early on
they believe
the truth
of the lie:
their fault
for the fights
or the coldness
or the ravings
of drunks; their fault
the world tilts
& slides
& slips

I never really wanted kids;
I always knew
I was too fucked-up
in all the ways
that matter
to them; consistency
for one. I'm no hero.
Today I saw a few
newly minted diabetics:
nine and fourteen.
No family,
but too much family:
drunk and addled
and miffed that a
disease demanded more attention
than they did.
The kids were quiet,
but inside, their bodies
churned: their eyes
sensitive, ears receptive
to every and any
jungle sound. They will
have to develop
a better nose
for deceit
& truth
if they are to survive. And that
could take
a lifetime.

Coming home
the train
was empty
the hour; perhaps
the rain and wind
kept the animals
in their cages.
I sat alone
in a corner
and let the underground
rock me. It felt good.
I'd been through
what those kids
were going through
now: the diabetes,
the blame,
the shame,
the wanting to fix
the unfixable. They will,
I knew, waste
a lot of time.
I didn't want
to get off the train
and passed my stop.
I'd eat out tonight.
And then write,
what turned out,
to be this poem.
Not very good,
I admit,
but I really
don't give
a fuck.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2015

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