UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
DAN PROVOST

Words from a Disgruntled Human Service Worker

I’m holding a kid who’s trying to cut himself…
He is in the large isolation room, angry that he was kicked out of Mr. Smith’s Encounter
Group…

As I grab his arms and push him against the wall—trying to assure him that he is safe and
everything is all right, I rest my head against the bricks that are sprawled with graffiti:

Writings that remind me of how much I suck…

Drawings of my mother being sliced and murdered by the angry minority…

I drift into daydreams—while the kid screams details of how he’s going to kill my parents
with a knife…

He will cut out their hearts—then stab himself with the murder weapon…

He is screaming…
I am dreaming…

Dreaming of Ginsburg and his words of disillusionment…
Dreams of Kerouac and his journeys into L’america…
Morrison, Rimbaud…all troubled icons…

I think of their mind-altering vices…
Booze, Drugs…Slow death…

Staying in a constant haze because they saw the truth on the wall…

What truth? What wall?

Christ, what truth did they see…They were upset with ideals…

I am upset with reality…

My truth is right in front of me, a kid trying to mutilate himself-- someone who has been
spit out and chewed out by life…
Parents who raped and beat him…Society that scorned him…
School systems that ignored him…

Yes, I will give my best effort in calming down this kid…
This victim…
I will then get into my crap-mobile, drive home and type
this mechanical poem…about a mechanical life…

I will drink beer till I cannot stand
Until I forget—What truth is

For me…


My Fall Season 2008

I.)
i felt like i have tiptoed through a shooting gallery these
past few months…

fighting the reaper face to face…

punch per punch…

so many times i held
a pistol to my head…wishing
for a phone call

one

just one

with a “how’s it going” or
“where have you been”

tearing every moment while my hands were
shaking

holding that .38 snub nose i stole from my father’s dresser.

saying good bye to nobody

and everybody


II.)
blowing off work
walking through the city
angered, crying…looking for
the ghost of Van Zant or Lombardi
to help get through another hour

i was the madness…it seeped into
my eyes then widened the bottomless
pit that existed in my soul.

each person whisking by me…

i was not there…I had already fallen;
yes, I was still breathing…
but in reality…I was dead

a mannequin
going through robotic motions
of existing.


III.)
i would come home

sort out half written wills and suicide notes

love letters addressed to no one
thinking i was a victim

of want?
of unreturned love?
of exhausted worship?

these are cruel beliefs for someone
who tried to be morally right

most of the time.


IV.)
my being was a blind stare into a
catacomb of shame…
a bleeding animal, wounded beyond
a couple of scars; i wrecked cars…hit people

became comfortable with screams that
never were shouted…

only in private
only in private


V.)
i now sit in a living grave
lonely, somewhat defeated


Dan Provost is 44 years old and reads a lot of poetry. Some of his favorites include:
Bukowski, Lyn Lyfshin, RC Edrington, JJ Campbell, and Arthur Rimbald. He has been
published in numerous poetry e-zines and small print magazines.







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