They thought we were idiots, and they might have been right in regard to some topics of lesser importance, but no– we were too damned smart to believe; we already knew about the lie. We could feel the chill of its ancient malice. We knew its craven loneliness, and why it must breed. We could see it– bald and sweating, fang-toothed and diseased, raping hopeful, cross-eyed, school girls in alleyways, and we could see it in the pale-orange whimper of sunrise as the gray streets remained gray.

Stan was a genius. Fuck, that kid was smart. Most of us were, and it didn’t matter if we were, or if we weren’t. It didn’t matter if we were talented or without a single gift or virtue. We already knew that fortune only favored the fortunate. And they’d shake their old heads watching us, the unkempt leather-and-denim freaks, and they’d say, “What a shame, what a shame.” But we wouldn’t play the game.

The poets die with a white-shine needle in their arm, lovers, poetry pulsing warm in their veins as the warbling voices still, finally. The poets die in water-stain rooms in chipped-brick buildings, and the poets don’t bother to write down their poems; the poets know– that their poetry would only be a redundancy.

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