Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Sep 2013
What repose and subtle wonder it is
to venture looking backward
upon my written name.

Scribbled, lacking coherence in its characters,

doctored suggestively towards containing
 an inherent “literary” edge

out of just what it is,

an association of sounds,

(parent’s gifted accidents of intention)
commingled and pushed into

an accepted truth by repetition

and repetition alone.

The surges of black-tongued self-consciousness

-that I’m far above the spot-scratching undergraduate

notion of admiring my personal stamp, of falling in love

with myself by using “bigger” words to fetishize
my most basic claim on having existed, of being HERE-

are given rise. 

These fade, by examples immemorial, to give way to other voices

striving for attention, to grasp their mark upon the page.

Late evening

On a wall,

Initials carved with a filthy bar

of rationed soap

In Dungeon Europe’s eastern range.

Where prison bars once hounded in

where beating’s sounded off 
morning’s crisp hue

The inevitable made its finer points here

Trampling over names and voices

lost to history.

Now a museum

the lunch-time rush 
of internationals

(who mostly work for corporations with offices in every place they travel)

Photograph themselves with expensive cameras

After shuddering, some even hazarding a tear

in considering what fates have befell

occupants on the wrong side of a different bureaucracy

 ....but all that matters, after they leave, is the the proof 

they were there. And how it was just how they imagined.

Morning, in my bedroom

and I’ve written something again...

I can stack it away

if I feel that I failed to capture

what I wanted to be seen

(if not in my own handwriting,

then on some gilded white screen

letters upright and well-rounded.)

How much can it matter to me?

Seeing my own name

allotted above or at the end

of some juvenile thoughtpiece
the kind editors everywhere
are doing their best to get rid of.

I suppose I write because it pushes me out of the expected

it releases me, on these mornings, these graceful, time-blessed

mornings, out of the cell.

To roam among the other skeptics, who thought aloud to wistfully

spend time away from the routine

To hold aloft a lighter-flame for those trapped inside.
Written by
Westley Barnes
Please log in to view and add comments on poems