Death of a high school poet

by Ralkkai

What really makes it interesting,
makes the whole thing look like a circus
is that we,
as a starving, skin-and-bones
group of writers
will pound it out young,
full of ambition and words.
We will pound it out with
so many accusatory questions
about what it is to live
what it means to be an American
what it means to be watched
to be free
to be on the cusp.
And we will write like we have the answers
and we are asking the audience


and we wait

for them to figure it out
whatever IT is that we are trying to ask.


we, the young writers

really have no idea

what we asked
or what the answers are.

It isn’t until
later on in life
when we remember that we used to write
and we try it again
but this time
we have experienced heart ache
and love
and hangovers
and anger
and questions and answers.

We have lived that life
that we oh-so-poetically tried to paint
when we were in high school.

It isn’t until you try it again
that you realize that all you were doing
was painting replicated
images with
pubescent brush strokes.

And then embarrassment sets in.