rich quatrone | illness


illness is a very personal thing
it happens in a deep place
the place where poetry comes from
or doesn’t come from
that’s the whole point
if the poetry doesn’t come
something else comes
something dark and unformed
something without boundaries
either the self is born
or the anti-self
most people don’t know
any of this consciously or
but i know the truth all too well
it’s kept me alive and out of
the hospitals and away from
the hands of the techno-medicos
all these years
i don’t question myself on it
or answer to anyone
i’ve learned to give vent to myself
to express the cancers inside
the angers and disappointments
the furies and insanities
but this expression demands its
time and place
it demands its own home
and it does not answer to anyone
or anything but itself
either a man listens and
makes peace and then marriage
with this thing inside himself
comes to celebrate it
or he gets ill
and if he’s been too arrogant
too foolish too distracted
too busy chasing after things
he should never bother with
like money and security
if he keeps himself preoccupied
with trivia to the point where
he tries to smother this life instinct
inside himself
he dies before
his time

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