PRISON ROAD

Don’t go too hard on yourself.
I hate seeing you miserable.

You see, I can’t.
It’s part of what makes me a writer.
Each sentence must bleed,
steak knife thrust in a human heart.
Poetry without passion is just symbolic
nonsense, words on paper signifying
nothing, eating space,
u s e l e s s.

It is the primal urge of the poet
to tear each line to shreds,
bare-handed shrieking
I AM DONE WITH POETRY
slamming the book shut
but never really being done
with poetry,
because poetry
is a door bolted shut. Is
a maximum security prison.
Is also an open road.
Once you’re there you’re there,
but also you’re there forever.

Get used to the misery, sweet
inventor. If you finish without
your own blood on your hands
you aren’t finished at all.

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