i used to think anger was a weakness

the adults
over razor-nick

i couldn't understand and
pegged it for
a lack
of class.

then i came up against eight hour jobs
sometimes twelve hours
car needs an oil change
a license plate
the right colored sticker on the license plate
or the cops will pull you over
the tire is flat
the lug-nut seized

basement sump-pump backed up
handle fell off the screen door
lawn-mower needs a new spark-plug
wife rides your ass for drinking
mother in law pulls you aside at easter dinner and
gives you a failing grade.

as the last few sparks of my solitude
and individual magic
were pecked and gnawed
ground null
by the vultures

as the oily fuckers
of circumstance
had me vice-tight
by the nut-sack

i felt that
paper dragon
inside of me
rushing to
strike back

but somehow
still had
sense enough
to become a
fourth generation


Justin Hyde
Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works as a correctional officer. His first book of poetry 'Down where the hummingbird goes to die' is available from the Guild of Outsider Writers and Zygote in my coffee. Mr. Hyde is also a poetry editor at Thieves Jargon.