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.

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