This Lack of Aura by John Grey

If only I were dirt poor

and living in a garret,

getting by on canned beans

and the occasional soupbone.

And if my sole possession

was a manual typewriter,

a clunky Remington

rescued from the dump,

and I typed away

on cranky keys,

clunking out poems

on scraps of paper,

night after night.

And if my friends

were starving

fellow writers and artists,

each as scrawny

as pens and paint bushes,

and we got together

drank cheap booze

and talked loudly,

in the lowest dives.

And if we were

rounded up from time to time

by the authorities

for being subversive,

dumped in a dingy jail

where the prison food

was worse than what

we ate on the outside.

Being civilized,

living in reasonable comfort,

is awkward more than anything.

Like when I suddenly speak up,

“Hey, I’m a poet.”

People have no idea

where the sound is coming from.

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