Lonnie Hicks

Manish Ways

He had a way
to posit

a compliment

which was


with calclulation

and genuine admiration

with resentments detailed

in his own agony;

a mixture

which rose in me

my own flattery

and my kindness deposited

my own mixture

of bewilderment

and some sense

of his confusion.

He never faltered

away from those sentiments

and when alone
I could sense

his relief
not to have to feel

that admixture

that were his

confused hurts;

a boy yet longing

to be a man

being told that

he was a boy
yet being told he had to be a man;

a boy yet being told

and treated like a boy.

Seeking mentally

to discern

which is which for him

what age does he reach majority;

a man.

So much in this

that whole cultures

create cremonies

that entire societies
provide benchmarks
money, power, fame,
mark for him ways

to achieve what he's been told

is a man.
and yet

us boys

never can gauge when

exactly when
it's attained.

So much of history

we see

in war and strife

comes of this.
So much death
stems from this
until for many

only the death
of the father
releases them.


He was so,
so annoyingly complicated
speaking in such atmospheric vagueness
unable to speak simply
and in plain language
wrapping himself in strange elocution
where meaning put itself into knots
drained of all context.
Some of my teachers
had this disease.
It was my one and only question
wanting to ask "why don't you speak
what issue are you trying to elucidate? "
But he could only
say obliquely
I speak this way
trying to navigate the waters
between what I really think
and what I know they will allow
on my tenure committee
want me to think;
and by the time I get tenure
I no longer can remember what I really think
or how I really feel.
Some times it is I speaking
sometimes it is a blend I create
in my mind
sometimes it is stray ideas which fly through
and aware of this
I become angry with myself
at what I have allowed
sputter mentally
waver and whisper
alternately sounding confident
alternately only in whispers.
I, student had to decide which future
I desired
and dropped out.
One of my better decisions.

Topic(s) of this poem: man

Poem Submitted: Friday, June 22, 2018

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