Drugstore Calligraphy

by Matthew D. Rowe

Want to be with people

occupying busy corridors, summits, bungalows,

gateways to intellectual thought processes.

Creativity spawning out of the angst perpetuated by others.

Vicarious spiritual impalement.

Cannot live with it, cannot live without it,

and can stand that even less.


Want to be in dark, reclusive place,

in unobtrusive state.

Mind cannot make connections like it’s used to.

Thoughts present,

obstructed by violent, piercing, reciprocal

aching of tooth.


Results of undertaking rebellious lifestyle,

I’ll do it only because you told me not to.

Chew tobacco eat candy bars psychedelic fungus drink beer,

don’t brush teeth—no time in busy schedule given me.

Given by caste system, Neo-aristocratic,


baby-boomers think they know best most effective way to live.


Deep hole dug now, only way down,

need bigger shovel.

Dig out the roots of this tooth while you’re down there.


You did this to me.

No time to work 9-5 for oral insurance,

too busy gutlessly going through motions of academia.


all the while walking in order with other

ants, slaves, blood flowing cold machines.


Compiling Bullshit,

More Shit,

Piled High & Deep.

While the roots of what make us advanced beings

deteriorate, crumble, rot, decompose

inside mouth & outside of control.

Evolve opposable thumbs to apply pressure,

suppress wincing of big picture.


Sir, you want me to not talk?

Is that why you make false, unanswered promises

to my mouth?

The only tool I have,

take it away, silence me?


Make me need insurance plan,

buy into corporate, crony, consumerist agenda?

me pay insurance company,

me pay hospital bill,

me pay doctor’s wages.

Doctor paid off by pharmaceutical company,

pharmaceutical company buy out doctors, lawyers, lobbyists.


Pharmaceutical company cronies get big bonuses,

fancy, lavish parties,

homosexual orgies,

prostitutes profit,

congressmen profit under silk, velvet, superficial sheets,


On surface

right-wing, ultra-conservative, Yes Prop 8

free trade best trade

money monsters,

fear employers.


And here I am,

twenty thou. deep into fed’s wallet,



stressed out,

intellectually unsatisfied,


and kept from everything I love.


Let me be.

But stop leaving me alone, Sir.

Stop making promises to millionaires/billionaires,

so that I can make honest living.

Leave my pockets alone,

I don’t need holes in them,

my teeth are holes enough.


Do not tax my personal time,

don’t tax my health,

my lack thereof.

Don’t make me buy into your scheme, it’s dirty.

I know it’s dirty under necktie & and never-present 5 o’clock shadows.


I know you aren’t real,

stop haunting my sleep.

Please, do not tax that too.

I’ll pull this fucking tooth right out.


Is that what you want?

Little silence, little puppet?

Then let the throbbing pain,

foul taste,

profuse breath,

migraine distraught pounding,

inability to focus,

ex-patriotism slavery persist.


I will not think for you.