The Poet’s PTSD

by: Laura Tattoo

Damn these rhymes
in a damned fermented mind–
Rolls of sea trash
caught on fishing lines–
I sift and peck
like a frantic hen
for a living, breathing catch,
a bit of bloodletting,
a stab at forgetting,
or a birthing song
for a dead poet:
There’s my dead fourteen
who through it all–
the vagrancy, the stinging bee,
the cold, hard street, the sex for free–
wrote to live,
and lived to catch
her own poetic license,
a little noble insight
on that damned resting bed
where she could burn to ashes
every scoundrel she met,
yet emerge to invent,
three-lived, tripling in glee,
poems for an unrelenting bent
and the three reptilian men
who caught her eye
in an all-night diner
and saw her need for sleep:
Thanks to them
she’s the wreck of the west,
thanks to them
she’s transcended sex,
thanks to them
she’s dead, yes!
But the poems, goddammit,
the living, breathing poems,
the lines of sea trash,
the noble insight,
the poetic license,
fuck it, take it, it’s all for free!
I’ve never held anything back
but this fermented anger
that finished me.
~ 1/4/98

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