Dan Grote

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I Would Be Bukowski

Bukowski wrote in furnished rooms,
I write in a six by nine cell.
He listened to classical music and
Drank wine, I listen to Death

Metal and, for the benefit of the
Correctional Officers that screen all
My outgoing mail, I write under the
Influence of no substance at all that

This institution may consider to
Be contraband, drunk only on
My demons and regret, fighting
Off thoughts of suicide with

Nothing more than a pencil as
Sharp as the shank I carry on
The Yard, and knowing that I’ve
Drawn blood with both is little

Consolation because it seems that
I’m destined to live out my
Days here, behind barbed wire
And stone walls because I’m

Already dead, words I’ve not
Yet written, only ghosts
Speaking out to you from
Everywhere I’ll never go.


Dan Grote is warehoused courtesy of the state of Illinois.  You can find his work in Chiron Review, Coal City Review, Glimpse, Hiram Poetry Review, Creosote and many others.