From birth they feel like
a picture framed crookedly —

everything is correctly sized,
but has been assembled
so it shows up to public view
as being a tad off center.
They are told it can be fixed with
a little effort on their part,
but has no idea where to begin
and no one will tell them a thing.

When they first discover
an urge to make and explain
worlds, they are told
that others’ perception

comes first.  They are told

not to take in anything
or push out anything
without considering its utility
to others; don’t give a new world life
without a corresponding nod
to an old one; better in fact
to justify and glorify
older worlds because new ones
take so long to establish
and who really has time
for that?

All they see are possible worlds,
new lands, mistake and evils
in this world and these lands
to which they could offer
correction; but because they want
to feel more or less straightened out
in his assigned frame,

they begin to starve themselves
of their own vision,
as if they were in training.
They build 
wrong muscles.
They consume little

beyond secret glasses
of their own exhalations
hoping these might nourish them;
are caught, are punished for doing so,

thus adding social insult to
self-inflicted injury.

They keep at it 

long enough to waste away,
at which point 
they are lightly rewarded
for their cautionary

Their last thought:

the others do not like you
very much whether or not
you are healthy,
apparently; the others
do not love you at all

until you are dead
and can be immortalized
for dying right and 
thus proving well-established

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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