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Jul 2018
the readers,
the critics,
the opinionated
are like cicadas,
you don’t hear
from them for a
while but when
the time is right,
they swarm together
and bring the noise.

and lately,
I’ve been receiving
an outpouring of hate mail
from my fellow correspondents
with passionate responses
to my writing that have
enthralled me,

not so much that
I’m writing poorly
but what l’m writing
about infuriates them.

their tongues swirling around
like vultures
in their perfect mouths to
quickly judge my take on the
subject matters of woman,
my drinking and my negative
outlook on life and work.

loosely painting describing
words in my direction,
calling me
a misogynist,
a pessimist and
a diseased drunk...

a misogynist? how so?
I love women and
I’m happily married to one
but you’d have a better
understanding if you met
the ***-crazed, pill-popping,
drug-induced alcoholic women
I once shacked up with.
I only illustrate the unbelievable
reality of it all.

next, my drunken poetry...
whether its drinking or writing
or both, it all feels like a
children’s tabernacle choir
of glory, singing hymns and
lifted by a celestial symphony
when there’s absolutely
nothing to do...
I keep my barstool warm
and my beer cold

and finally,
the pessimism in my poems.
I don’t live this life with a
white picket fence around me
where everything is positive
and delicate and bright.
art has a balance,
poetry has a balance
and there are two sides
to everything and how
I perceive in this world
and what I create is a
bit darker and uglier
than most grey hearts
with grey laughter,
laughing at nothing
and I brisk for the smile.
I wake up hungover and
I work a terrible job and
I’ve been served the
poisons of the world
and for that, I only have
myself to blame, but
all the trouble makes
for good writing
so I continue
to keep my head down,
chew my food with my
mouth closed and shine
the shoes for the living
that walk among
this desperate land.

the judgments seem to be
ill-fitting to the persona but
I’m very fortunate to receive
this kind of mail because it
whispers in my lonely ear
that I made someone feel
something in my writing,
whether the outcome was
to inspire or offend.
I’m happy to know
that they felt it
because I felt it too
and the blackbirds
of success
swoop down
and gobble up
the inch worm
of self-doubt
and failure.
Rick the shoe shine boy
Written by
Rick the shoe shine boy  35/M/Couch to couch USA
(35/M/Couch to couch USA)   
         Ayushi Gupta, Emmky, Bardo, Wene, Mouthpiece and 63 others
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