a young boy in a troubled place became a man by violent ritual one day
in the next night he earned a name by his prodigious use of a simple tool
as he pushed the envelope of a boy becoming a man he reinforced it
it being the meaning of the name it being the use of the name
his own name connected him to things that he wanted to obscure
his name at birth had been changed by process, calamity, marriage and adoption
he had quickly learned painful lessons about the arbitrary rules of violent contraband
he had quickly developed a taste for entertainment that came under dangerous scrutiny
he had quickly learned traditions and regulations of conduct in order to maintain balance
in a world of chaos clustered by geographic socioeconomic bloodline quarrels into groups
of alliances and obstacles that he navigated in and out of
parties, places to get high, places to play games, places to have sex, places to make music, places to find shelter in the middle of it all
in these places he found a sanctified peace amidst the turmoil as he read words of various meaning
as he read words of various craft and significance as he wrote words that were all inspired in part
by the words he was always reading, the music he was always playing, the way he tried to live and love
the way he tried to make a living while he waited and watched on all the dying, the way he was becoming
more of a man, less of a boy with each word that measured the distance between the two
he kept at the writing  and kept at it until one day it bled into the everything else he was doing
as he shared the writing as a way to further his agenda with a woman and the words began to act
out of their own volition and share themselves in quantitative leaps and bounds until he was not sure
what to do about the condition of it all and he surrendered to it for a awhile then as things seemed to shift
he withdrew from it all for a long time and then as it all shifted again he began to share it all again
except his demeanor had changed and his age had worn him down
he never really cared what people called him
it was how they said it that bothered him
it was who they were that bothered him
what they did for a living
the rules and regulations they followed
the commitment to change they exhibited in their actions
the humility they may or may not exhibit in their words
the lack of faith they showed in the truth
the lack of truth they showed in their faith
he had his own hypocrisy to deal with
he did not want to deal with other peoples on top if it
he felt he had dealt with it enough when he had no choice
if the choice was his, then it would be his fault alone if he continued to deal
and he dealt with other peoples hypocrisy
how would he ever find freedom from his own?
what name would he own the most?
what name would own him the most?
what would you want to call him after all that was said and done?
most of the years that had passed
he had hoped most people would choke on it
when they pronounced the name he had earned
it had nothing to do with an image or to promote his writing
it was for the family, friends and lovers he had buried
it was for the way the world had tried to bury him, over and over again
it was for the times of torture at the hands of the state
it was for the time away from family while he ran for his life, anonymous
with only that name to go by, year after year, day in  and day out
all through every night in between
he was tired now, restless in the peace of surviving it all
but he would never forget
the way it felt to cut a person's throat
when they called you out of your name

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About A. Razor

I published my first poem in a punk rock boho zine in 1980, in Los Angeles. I wrote fairly regularly over the years. Most of my life has been homeless, in prison or on the run from parole. I have been fortunate to have developed some relationships over the years with other writers and have built a network of friendships...read more and experiences due to this. I am finally off of parole, sober, leading a more stable, less violent life, writing and sharing in a better way than ever, but, still guided by my internal fire and mistrust of the ways of man in the milieu of the multitudes. I am slowly joining a world I have always disdained and feared through a painful and loving catharsis. This is what my words are based on.
   1 week ago
Razor, when I read your work, I end up exhausted in a very good way. It wrings me out just as raw poetry should.
   26 months ago
This is marvelous, made more so from reading and re-reading...and even more again, after reading your bio and realizing from what a deep place your words originate...I will try to get back here and read more of your work when I get a chance. I think you're a most intriguing writer.

Rose Garden:

Rose Garden by Karen Kaback
Rose Garden
by Karen Kaback