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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

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