Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


image source

We live behind gates
    in our communities of strangers.                  
We make
     small talk
           with our
               small minds
                    while eating
                         small food
at the annual holiday party.
We roll our eyes over the cheap wine
and boast about how we buy
     organic or
We hurry back to our
     Fortresses of Solitude
     for another year. We have
          tvs in every room so there's always something to look at
          other than each other. We have
               everything we could ever want.
We live behind gates
     to keep out the undesirables. We deserve
     to feel safe. Is that so wrong?
But what do we do when the fruit is rotten from
     the inside?
          Polish our silver
                   detail our cars
                             landscape the yard
                                       enlarge the pool because our kids are
but starving for attention
     (at least that's what the psychiatrist says when he hands out the prescriptions.)
We live behind gates
     to keep in the kids.
We don't want them mixing
     with bad influences.
We send them to private schools
     where they can get drunk
                         carve their skin                  
with a better quality of friends than at the
     local high school and where the
lawyer moms and dads can
     make charges disappear
     if things go really wrong
because they're good kids, not like those others who live
    on the other side, not like us.
We live behind gates.

submitted for Poetry Potluck, Fortresses, Castles, and Palaces, at Jingle Poetry


Jingle said...

this is outstanding,
the shape of your work,
the brilliance of your words are mind blowing.

Thanks for sharing.

kshawnedgar said...

Yeah, wow, I second that. What Jingle said. You captured the essence of the conflict and the insanity of the us vs. them mentality. I am one of the undesirables, do not live behind gates, and do not have a TV even in one room. It's a poor excuse to confine oneself for a sense of safety, doesn't work. The mindless talk at pointless company parties really stands out as a key observation. You struck a clean hard blow with this one.

poetpeteet said...

Bars always make two prisons,"hard but not real".This one ,like several others,opens the festering sore-the only path to where we can heal.
Thanks,mouse,you roar.