At the Gates to the City

Be wary
for you are not at home.
This is not a land for the poet
or the fine artist.

This is a raucous land
full of vigor and venom
and vitriol for the sensitive
and the soft.
This place is dangerous
for the soft.

Gain your callouses quickly.
Learn to pack the muscles
ontonyour heart so that
as sweet as you are
you can defend yourself
against the cruelties of this city
and its council
who will crush just as soon
as welcome you
and offer you its very keys.

Get strong
so you don’t have to fight back
because if you seem strong enough
they won’t dare to attack
in the first.

Build your offenses
as an artist.
It is the only way
to survive in this town
you have so foolishly entered
or any other that you may dare.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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1 Response to At the Gates to the City

  1. John Pavlou says:

    I like this one. I’d like it to go one for five pages, a jeremiad, a screed, a red eye blood soaked rave. To go on until it undoes itself and you have a small, a bug pustule sized heart attack on stage and art itself is redeemed and the children stop their threshing and run barefoot into the city.

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