According to Adrienne Rich

We could

I could


by omission

the          between

that I don’t want to name

like the space between size 4 and 

or between the bars at the 

or explaining the space bar

to a man who was sentenced to twenty-five years

when he was only

twenty one.

We could

I could

U could



excusing something for something else,

it’s a placeholder,

Monday or Tuesday, this job that pays the bills

instead of this job that fills the day

with honey

and trumpets

and sun between leaves.

I swear on the Bible and lie:

He didn’t hit me

I am innocent

It was an accident

Let’s make it simple,

you say.

That’s real genius.

It’s a quote I’m sure you read somewhere

that isn’t actually where you really found it.


a sundried shade off from original

after not changing places for too long a time.

U got to flip it over after half a hour,

U know?

According to Adrienne Rich,

“Lies are usually attempts to

make everything simpler—for the liar—than it really is,

or ought to be.”


But what does it mean to be full?

Rich claims fulfillment comes

from the struggle to understand the

complexity and fecundity

of truth.


Fulfillment and being full.

The letter U is a shitty

way to feel empty.



Are geniuses filled up?

Do U

want to be a genius?

Genius, tell me elegant lines of

complexity and fecundity,

tell them straight,

like the stripes that outline one space

to the next. U with this box

and leaving it out in the rain,

and me with this space

in the           .

Is that a lie too?

Would U agree with that?

Would U call yourself an expert,

an authority even?

The subjunctive mood is a lever wedged in the criminal justice system

that makes the door

a jar.



did U not see what happened?

Did U not see where this was always


Come on, genius.

Read between the


A Little Louder

My students are real men discussing real lives. They bring honest perspectives, everyday ideas and useful perceptions to our conversations. They are true scholars and investigators; they are asking colloquial questions about our most-common art. Hungry to form opinions, seek out new authors and tell you what they really think, they might very well be the people we will turn to in dark times ahead: men who have seen the world, known it as they know themselves, and can answer for both.

Some are learned; some seek knowledge. Some come blindly and leave enlightened. Everyone speaks; all are heard. The forums we hold would make any mother proud, and are the envy of many a college classroom. Each round of ideas fills a chalkboard, erases it, and fills it again. Our classroom is a crucible of learning where every viewpoint, background, culture, interpretation and definition makes us all stronger, smarter. Even our questions can lead to soul-searching, world-reckoning, and some serious lines of poetry.

These men are fearless to share their words. They jump out on the ledge of experimentation and expression, and damned be the net that might or might not catch them. Each time, they pour their hearts onto the page. Each time, they make a piece of their story beat a little louder.

I could not be more proud of their courage, their ideas, or their work. If you want literature you can’t understand, or hidden meanings stowed behind veiled allegory, go read something else, and good luck to you. These are real words, written about real times, told by real men.

Wade Martin

Freehand Instructor, Poetry