Thank you to those who support me via my Paypal account: The government doesn't read my poetry. You do. Out of over 400 poems here on this blog by me, I hope you find one or more you like. Thank you for my readers. Thank you for your comments.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Shutdown


Shutdown the government say some
Let the halls become silent and dark
Return this nation to what was here before
Indigenous folk are ready rubbing hands
Around their waists are chains covered

In shiny new padlocks and handcuffs
Throw away the words of the Declaration
And burn all copies of the Constitution
If they want it back there will have to be
New documents that stand for the truth

How does anyone shut down equality 
Turn out the lights on already blind justice 
Where shall we meet to decide how poor
Elderly citizens will starve in cold homes
Who will become strange fruit in hot sun

Box freedom telling people that is all
There's only so much to go around today
Be sure to shred all the money in banks
Melt all the coins and turn in all bonds
Nothing has value until a new government

Let us gather to decide what this all means
There are no leaders so shut the old away
Until the nobodys filter to a new voice
Better than Franklin and good old George
All books of law are full of worms and wrong

There are no bills to pay until value establishes
In something better than gold, silver, and paper
With simple words agreed to write it all away 
Start it over to never care for your security
Let the States all die until a king is found

Make just one man decide for all people
Who will live and who will die by any decree
Line the naysayers up against existing walls
Bullets are free for believers to exterminate
All the children they want to bleed on streets

The victims no longer exist since power is all
The enemies come across all borders in peace
Willing to die for the nothing that now is wrought
Stone, paper, leather parchment cannot hold
What these acclaimed people glue with dust

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, September 28, 2023


We live with our choices and what is within us.  We live with what we see in the mirror.  We live with our illusions.  We live knowing we can't see how others see us.  Through these facts appear the ghosts of those who gave us life over all the centuries of the earth.  Boo!

Monday, September 25, 2023



He stands in front of the studio camera
This space is designed to tire and hammer
Only money or email will save
Everyone from geegaws not needed
But are supposed to crave

This studied pitchman 
Is magically slick
In a comfortable suit 
He asks his audience to pick
Whatever he's selling 
He answers all questions
In a calm steady voice
He says they're only suggestions

The world will never rid the glowing screens of them
They'll glow and they'll grow each with their own special gem
I haven't a thing to sell just silly old words
The world is chock full of spewed
Alphabetic  turds

Hart Crane raged his alcoholic depression
Wondering if his writing was any good
I'm depressed but haven't had a drink
In many years
I don't care if my poems are good or great
I made my decisions for all of it
This life will throw me off the ship
Soon enough whether anyone
Bought my pitch or not
I've been bobbing in the sea a long time
There's plenty of time to drown

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Beneath This Minute

Beneath this Minute

Beneath this minute
Are the lies I tell myself
I think I’m okay
No better and no worse
Than others around me
The truth is that I’m both
I don’t read enough
But I read more than most
I’m fat and want to lose weight
But I find myself in a monthly binge
My home is fairly dirty
Justifying not cleaning with painful shoulders

These older years have taught me
None of this matters
I will lie to myself whether I think not to lie
Or whether I think I change to the truth
What is most important in my breakfast
And the tea I will make for myself
I look to the stove and see its on
Heating the water in the kettle
The outside of the kettle is a bit greasy
But the water soon to boil will be clean
I think about what I will eat
And the two choices might wind up
As eating both to my detriment
So I lean into my brain and scream
You don’t respect me Mr. Brain

I’ve now jumped onto the side of the worse
All of this before breakfast
Of either dry something
Or fried something
The third option is
Search the neighborhood
For a pet
To rip its throat
With my teeth
To enjoy my vampire tea

Barry G.Wick

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The. Plastic Bag of Youthful Death

The Plastic Bag of Youthful Death

I threw away my journals
After many years of writing
Tiny letters upon painful pages
Just as I was making the me
So public that required I
Destroy my life before it
Went any farther so as
To have the many dig
Through those years 
Almost thirty years ago

All words from college
To Chicago on a train
Of paper rail cars
Now neatly shredded
By Craig's machine secretly
Screaming words torn
So they bleed into a plastic
Bag their letters separated
Much like cutting a chicken
Into unrecognizable parts
Only the shredders teeth
Will enjoy these memories
unseasoned and raw

These many minutes with
Multiple books all five
With many pages 
Of black inked dreams
And lovers kissed or held
Reduced to indecipherable 
Polluted trees for the benefit
Of others who don't want
The real me to read as
I've always done thinking
What others may want from
Me instead of me for me
Happily me on my terms

I've now discovered this branch
Where I don't drag all that
With me across the tear-soaked
Years that shadow other writers
Full of childish learning
Fumbles on the paginotions
My own word of my own life
Belonging to me doing it better
For no one else alone
Or read to a crowd I'll never meet
The ridiculous boredom
That clouded Larkin and others
Like Rochester telling me
She thought the painting
I bought for forty bucks
Should be destroyed 
Like young men's words
No one can stand to read

Barry G. Wick

Monday, August 7, 2023



the disease disappears yet
the isolation remains as the gorilla
a small room where it rips my face
as I wash it in the morning
rinsing the little dirt from the White cloth

the brain drys from the inside
or is it the new pill that grows teeth
yes teeth growing in my head
that chew up words more like
old strings of chicken removed

there seems no reason to leave
no one knows me here like old friends
Who never visit from miles away
phone calls useless chat in the dark
here we are behind closed doors

brothers of the dirty carpets
disappearing bags of food
that never nourish the tears that fall
onto a useless moment never ending
below our surface we starve for arms

hold on for the door knock
from someone never wished 
to be seen in rude trances
up the ramp answer the door
never again it's only rice and salt

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, July 9, 2023

We the People

We the People

We the People are shadows
In dark corridors filled
With empty promises
They are paid to be dull
Unmoved by strong light
Or stunned in the headlights
Like herds of deer praying

Made in America are false words
As corporate welfare fills the boxes
Upon the porches for green thieves
Never mind the cameras
Never mind who sent it
Never mind who made it
Never mind who wants it
Never mind the hidden contents
Never mind the politics

America the Beautiful
Is full of garbage hidden
At the bottom of lakes
And rivers full of chemicals
Spun through piles of carbon
To give the impression of clean
Tin cans and plastic ends underground
The unseen corpses 
of supermarket shelves and warehouses
All of this is a reverse famine
Building the bloat of the blind

Pursuit of Crappiness
Don't read the words
Hear them from the elected fools
Who have made you in their image
They have no sense
They are founders of stupidity
Creators of the triangle wheel
They and them and theirs
Belonging to no one else

Semper fly
The genius of nothing
The knower of less
Empty thrills repeated
Every mountain can't be climbed
Every stream a wall
Every wall a target
All must stand at it
Look them in the eyes
Dream there is something
In that empty head
Just a thought is the trigger

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, June 1, 2023



A new cloud
Imagines me
Laying upon a changing ground
I change my shape so often
I forget what animal I am
Or I'm created in chains
Of wisps of vapor
Colored by emotions
I no longer understand

To roll in this muddy life
Gives the changing sky
Dreams that fall away
I am sleeping 
Hoping to awaken
In a new belief
A new set of unruly pictures
Sliding around on glass

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sad People

Sad people

I've begun to see
The images presented
As if I belonged here
With sad poets in old pictures.
The downturned mouth,
The eyes on the edge of blank,
From another time.
He looked like I could know him
But we're a hundred years ago
And I'm now wherever and whenever
That is.  That is.
My father described the kind of man
That I am.
The picture of my old love was sad.
Am I sad?
Only because I see
What others can't see.
I'm not special.
The illusions.  Every illusion.
It's almost as if
Well that won't work.
These are just words.
I'm lost in them.
Green gray blue red.

 Barry G. Wick

Sunday, May 21, 2023



It's a board game played
To give common people
A sense of power
Once only available
To kings and generals
Who saw that taking
Land and people brought
Great wealth and power

Every man becomes a king
When he is loved
by another
Love is the greatest risk

My country pieces
Have been removed
From the world map
I am now an unloved
A subject eats cheap hotdogs
Letting them fry in a small pan
The heat makes them pop
As they turn themselves
When a side becomes
Blistered and burned

Burned blisters come
from battles
In Risk

Barry G. Wick

Monday, May 8, 2023


Few will understand me
Or remember me
Hate or love me
In as short as twenty years
Or even yesterday
Will you buy my perspective today?
I thought not
At the least I offered
What does anyone expect for free
The cost to each of us gives value
I've lost everything
So I must be rich

Barry G. Wick, part of 500 poems written by this author at

Sunday, May 7, 2023


Here is your daily dose of throwaway 
Here is your daily dose of throwaway Music
Here is your daily dose of throwaway Words
Here is your daily dose of throwaway
Here is your daily dose of throwaway
It's all headed for Mars and faraway
The oceans are filling with plastic
Ain't that fantastic
They come from a planet you can't
Pronounce only known by the ounce
Stuff me in your rectum play me with your
It's all a loss so says the boss now make
My eyes gloss with sphagnum moss
Holy roly poly Renato Podjoli
Fizzle me twizell gisele me bizzell
Modgrobble me bobble ubgobble yer tobble

Barry G. Wick


Thursday, May 4, 2023


Your last breaths seemed painful to me
I am certain of your last thoughts
As mine may be the same as I say good-bye 
to the world of pain I created

Speaking to you like Neruda speaks
To his mother would not be possible
I am tired beyond those black years
When I constantly cared for you

I did tell you I loved you as I put
My flabby arm around you that you
Could not put around me like your sister
Who showed me affection I missed

Your mother's words came to me
In missed caresses as you explained
Her cold Norwegian upbringing 
And the distance between you and her

What did you get from her in those
Years of vocalizing in Dakota's enclaves
As I remember her in her last year's
I felt little warmth in my failed heart

These vacancies have passed down
To my children and to me doubly
In these years of distance and emptiness
That have been left to me unpolished

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Parade of Kings

Parade of Kings

Out with the garbage
To the bin on the porch
Sit down in my walker
Slight cool on my skin
One then two gray squirrels 
Chase on the open street
In front of my home
A dozen or more tails
Round about a white car
Up on the tires or tailpipe
I think of the shooters
In Merry Ol' England
Entertaining by video
The viewers with death
Of these joyous creatures
Perhaps they damage
But where I wonder
The corn is not planted
No beans in small pods
So chase as they must
Play on my street
I am content to watch
More than I've ever seen
Tomorrow I'll take some
Nuts from my freezer
Try coaxing them up 
To where I sit in cool air
The years on my brow
Squirrels reign on my street

Barry G. Wick

Monday, March 27, 2023



The Buddhist chef says
"When you wash the rice,
Wash the rice."
Mindfulness of task.
I brush my teeth
In a mindful way.
My nose says "Hold on!
I'm dripping now. Mindful this."
No, I'm brushing my teeth.
"I'll drip through your mustache
And into your mouth," it says.
What can I do? I'm brushing.
"Mindful of my needs, please."

Throughout my day
Nose interrupts.
Obviously nose hates
A student Buddhist
Who hates nose.

Hate does not appear
In the Buddhist student handbook.

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, March 25, 2023

A Memory

A Memory

This morning colder as I sit
At an old plastic sink
Brushing my graying hair
The man in the mirror
Looks at strands in a comb
Pulled from his thinning head
Across the room a radio
Plays a piano trio
Adding to the age
Of the moment
Someone listens to hip hop
They don't miss or know
This piece from an olden time
Just as I don't know theirs
Now there begins a sweet thought
Given to the time of day
A change in the eyes annouces
Both at the same time
Just minutes from the dreams 
Reflections meet each other
In a tear of a better past
That happens more in these days

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Three Years

Three Years

Three years in my home
To hide from disease 
That has killed more than a million
In this nation
It is a plague to be so isolated

This house is kept noisy
With music and videos
From the internet
A great gift from someone
Whom I love more than myself
Yet at the start of breakfast
The simplest comment or tune
Will set off the only images I have
The past years of my life
The people I've known and seen
Situations that angered and thrilled
Though often paid me in guilt
Often sad and painful
Here I am I say
To push away the memory
That intrudes upon this space

For some of these moments
I am grateful yet push them aside
As eggs and toast fall 
Upon a simple.gray plate
Coffee sugar milk
Butter scraped on crumb

The day begins with plans
That change from day to day
This or that simple creation
That won't last to inspire emotion
In anyone I love
About these lonely years
Full of dreams that frighten
Or give me laughter
Here I am Lord
As I refer to the majesty
Of the universe that surrounds me
Small and alone
Untouched for many years
Though I am not sorrowed
It's gratitude to have finally found

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Empty Spaces

Empty Spaces

If I had to think about it
The first was love
The first two weeks in life
Alone in the hospital
Except for visits and nurses
Mother left me there 
So she could get stronger

The list of fillers
Started to grow
Visible and invisible
My canyons were wide
And empty

Then there was pleasing her
Starting at age four
Though maybe before
Practicing piano
Only to please her
Because it didn’t come from me
I hadn’t developed my ear
A few more years at seven or eight
And I’d have heard what
I needed to hear

Then came food
I stole food
Opening cans of food
When nobody was home
Or when others were in other rooms

Then there was sex
Oh yes sex
An early interest of photos
Just two
Of guys that excited me
Though in junior high
I became obsessed 
With one or two boys
Who weren’t interested in me
I tried to be interested in girls
It just never happened
I was too formal
There was nothing natural
In my personality
It was all forced

I married and tried
But I couldn’t be natural
I couldn’t be the real me
And after that
Came alcohol
Despite my mother’s warnings
About her father
And my father's drinking
My forays here and there
Into booze were joined
By marijuana

Then sex again
And now years later
I just want to be alone
I just want to be me
In my own world
And lonely
But I’m me

The empty space is still inside
Like a next door neighbor
Who borrows a tool
Never bringing it back
I'd need that tool
It's not there and I'd forget
What happened to it
So it's become a comfortable
I'm used to the hole
The empty I sense
But don't know what's
Suppose to be there
I'll never know
So I walk through this world
An unfinished building
With stay out signs

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

From Father to Son

From Father to Son

He was born in a small 
South Dakota town 
in the east of the state
It was late in November
He would die on the same date
Far away 
in California

He returns to me
In dreams where I hear
His voice and see his face
An only child
His mother American Norwegian
His father American German

I see him again on rubber boats
A fishing pole in hand
Sitting at the breakfast nook
With a pencil in his fingers
Talking to a circle of professionals
Speaking to graduates
Sitting in his office 
Stumbling drunk in our home
When drinking with his friend
Carrying a deer rifle or shotgun
Explaining his trophies
Roaring in laughter

In our last phone call
Where he speaks to me alone
His cancer has odd names
While eating him alive
Faster and faster it grows
Inside of him 
Each word is chosen
With our histories entwined
In the silence of daily life
He tells me I'm his son
I blubber at that line
As I know it settles
An argument with my mother
Of years long before
When he questioned my paternity 
that hit my mother as hard as any fist
He probably never used
Her words to me on that
Made me wonder why I felt
A washout between father and son

When I'm suddenly transported
To a place on a ranch near the Badlands
Where he plants me
With my brother's rifle
Looking up a small wash
To silence me as he walks
Farther ahead to put himself
Unseen by me
From where I hear his gun
Down a muley

You're my son he says
It's an apology to my mother
And to me about our separations
That often appeared
As I've seen him throughout
Our years as he walked away
On so many occasions
From an interest in my life

Now so many years away
From that phone call
I understand the canyon
Between my son and me
Where I have no rifle
Only words to slay
Only words to say
I'm sorry I learned
The wrong lessons of parenthood
Passed from generations
To me

Barry G. Wick

Monday, February 6, 2023

Not Me

Not Me

I grew up as a homosexual
Locked in a town and life
Where no one can be.
I turned away love
At every opportunity
To protect my parents
From the toxic shame
I felt for just existing
It's an all too common story.
I am not special.
In fact, I am and was useless
In the eyes then and now
Of everyone I ever met.
I could not allow myself
To love anyone out of fear.
Later in life I would try
But failed at every turn.

I think of the boys and later, men,
Who found my heart worthy.
As soon as that, I'd find a way
To reject them.
A person who rejects love,
Deep, central love,
Is not worthy for any acceptance.
Nearer the end of life I see
Who I am.
I said "not me" to so many
With whom I could spend
These last year's.
I deserve these last year's
Exactly where I am
In a 14x80 prison cell
Crying at the end of every day.

Barry G. Wick

The Poet"s Garbage Can

The Poet's Garbage Can

A famous picture of W.H.Auden
Visualizes him with a garbage can.
The lid held in his left hand.
He wears a neat suit.
The can has a metallic shine.

What does he put in that can?
Or does he represent every poet
Who throws out the garbage
Of the creative mind.
This garbage might represent
A great loss to the readers
Of poetry, words and thoughts
That might benefit another person
Teetering on the edge of loneliness
Or sanity in an hour of strife.
We'll never know the thoughts
Of Crane, Plath, or Rochester,
A poet I knew as a young man
Who impressed so many.
Now he is unknown,
except to his remaining family,
And friends who made mistakes
With their friendship.

Perhaps the garbage can represents
The loss of all poets to history,
All their poems trashed by unknown
Companions or humanity in general.
We will never know because
This poem will go the way
Of all poems eventually,
Of all poets eventually,
Of all strings of words
In search of meaning,
In search of another human
To feel what Wilfred Owen felt
Searching on those stairs
That lead him to the garbage can
Of world wsr
That was France and death
In November of 1918.
What poems had a bullet hole
In his tunic? covered in blood.

My mentor told me to never
Use the word blood in a poem,
But what are poems but blood
Coursing from the mind
Through the voice
Across the distance
As vibration heard or unheard,
Ultimately ignored in
The garbage can of time.

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Begging of Nobody

The Begging of Nobody

I provide a major corporation
Something for you to read
Free of charge
In between advertising
To sell you something
To prove to their worth
And make their corporation
That's controlled by a few people
And those few people
Powerful and wealthy

I provide this free
Hoping you might send
Me two or three dollars
Or just one dollar
So I can pay my bills
That are growing
Beyond my ability
To pay them

All my life I bought
Into the system
That now provides
Crumbs for my daily life
Poets are allowed to starve
Because poets think
The great powers
Don't want you to think
They don't want me
To think

We are having fun
As we watch
All this horror

Right now I lay
In my bed as I watch
A glowing screen
To make me forget
The pain in my stomach
I worry
There is no reason to worry
But I do

I believe I'll be gone
Soon enough
And these poems will continue
To enrich someone
Or this giant corporation
Upon its glowing screen
You read these thoughts
Thank you giant corporation
For nothing but your
Great wealth and power
I love you
Thank you for keeping
My brain alive 
I love you

Barry G. Wick

Friday, February 3, 2023



I dream I'm once again
Creating for radio
A commercial or morning jokes
Surrounded by station staff
As I gradually awake
I still speak to them
As if I really know something

As the ceiling comes into view
My mouth spills words
That have no meaning
To my waking mind
Nothing remembered or written

Please call someone to help
Wonderful dream people
Who listen to my sentence 
A prison cell for more years
Than even a judge would call
I cause them pain
In their imagined minds
Even if they seem attentive

Barry G. Wick

Sunlight and Bills

Sunlight and Bills

I awake
Rested and ready
The sun brightens the overcast
I lay listening to music
Soon the day names itself
What does this mean
And details become clear
This is the day that bills hath made

So begins the waves of webpages
Designed to make me
Credit worthy
There are no cheers
When a creditor receives their money
A small crowd cheering
An audio thank you…uh…your name
It would mean so much
But no

The world is vision touch and sound
Perhaps one day
Personal robot (yet to be named)
Will pat me on the back
Raise its arms
Sending up a cheer
When I pay the rent

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Mystery (for Jon R.)

The Mystery(for Jon R.)

When a person knows
The depth of their failure,
I mean all the misses
And all the hits
That couldn't have been
More wrong,
There is a sense
The road has come to an end.

It's easy to think
The end would be easy,
Except, one always has
To see what's around the corner.

Everything has pain
Associated with every memory
How much pain
Can our victim stand?
Well, more than you know.
It's the self-punishment
That's the goal
Of this disgusting life.
It's the least that should happen.

Every photograph,
Every situation seen,
Is a source of horror.
Should this be an end?
Nope. Box of spiders?
Gun to the head?
All jokes aside,
A cloudy day is enough.
Be good to this poor soul
Who has no soul.
Your reward will be simple,
But I'm certain I don't know
What it will be.

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Last Poem

Last Poem

Will someone who writes
The last poem
Please turn off the words.

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, January 8, 2023

The Old Bracelet

 The Old Bracelet

Though all the storms of these past years,

A small token of a mother’s love remains.

A bracelet sheathed in a thin layer of gold

With solid links that are hard to open.

It may have belonged to her mother

Though I am unsure of the ownership.

It could have been a start of  a charm

Or a gift from someone loved for years.

On this bracelet three charms hang

Attached to one end in combination.

Here a small crown less than an inch

Next, a gold plated wing and name plate.

All three tell some story I cannot surmise

Yet, I am drawn to this bracelet today.

On the back of the name plate,

Mother’s name in simple line inscribed

Perhaps others items were upon it

Charms that meant much to her mother

Or perhaps this was all that was there.

My wrist now shares this bracelet.

At the end of my arm before my hand

Three things simply hang in discord:

A striped sweatband of blue and white,

Rainbow beads on white cord, and this.

The significance of all this escapes me.

I’ll wear them for awhile to find

What they will mean to me today

Or tomorrow, time brought them all.

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, January 4, 2023



Father makes a funny face.
Mother wears the best clothing.
Other children are friends.
The piano teacher compliments.
A recital audience applauds.
Young men become attractive.
A magazine tells their truth.
Another features exciting photos.
Food is given.
The weather changes.
Teachers select readings.
A first job pays.

So little lasts,
From generation to generation.
It is possible to watch
The changes over a lifetime
Provided with long life
And care for it.
The qualities diminish.
Less courtesy.
More violent language.
More hurtful words.
All mistakes return
Nearer the end.
Expectations wane.
Gradually the stare
Takes over all things.
Even with a bright mind
This all darkens.
There is no relief
From this final pain.
Children now will suffer.
None of their joy remains.
The old sit on benches
To watch their past
Come skipping by.

Barry G. Wick