UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY


BRIAN McCRACKEN

OLD PHOTOGRAPH

He's been watching window panes break in unsung side view mirrors
on the freeways and bypasses of America's heart, white lines unzipping
like an incision on a shotgun ready deer about to be skinned. This
adolescent search for truth and meaning is beginning
to look as unfulfilling as the dull white fluorescent
joke of a classroom he left behind 1,000 miles ago.

17 and dropped out, he's falling through the cracks, swallowed
and tossed out like these institutions are the hollow
caverns of a vulture's uvula. They break him down with
their bacteria infested gums, and these schools
give him something like necrosis.
The depression is flypaper.
He's lifting off without legs.
His wings weigh a ton.
An undiagnosed bipolar shell of
an adolescent, high school is nothing but a holding
ground for his crumpling psyche,
and the road calls.

So he finds himself in this passenger seat imagining a paradise
of something under than emptiness. Unkempt oily hair frames
his empty stare. His sanity shoots blanks. He is sweeping the dirt
under the rug while trying to find pennies in between
the cushions. He is living for the chance of enlightenment.









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