Where the Storm Drives Me

                         I am not bound over to swear allegiance to any master;
                                                            where the storm drives me I turn in for shelter.


The touchy tribe of poets reached out to me
     one evening, after meetings with my agent,
     my publisher, and chaste printers whose unease
     forced my team, legal to creative, to speak
     of changes to the artwork for the cover
     of my collection, too “forthcoming” for them—

     those denizens of dignity, claiming them
     “indecent,” my selection—pictures (of me)
     that cabal called “offensive;” saying, “cover
     up if you want respect,” uttering, «agent
as their accountants, who speak
     only when paid, could not account for “unease”

     since there was zero of which to speak, an ease
     in pressure as they fell to their knees—for them,
     attempting to silence me just makes it speak;
     my tempestuous mouth always precedes me,
     with its hurricane-tongue devouring-agent
     calling in, as it spits out, men who cover

     up unsavoury truths defying cover,
     losers whose only option over unease
     is to have their demons untied by agents
     some prayers summon, but how I now tire of them—
     miracles meant by heaven to upstage me—
     how their words could not more bore me, so I speak

     out against them, we tastelessly sweet who speak,
     we assholes who eat ass, out seeding cover
     stories, photogenic oracles like me
     who trade roughly in crass verse causing “unease,”
     our “perverse” words out-selling theirs, telling them
     not what they want to hear, among free agents

     and freer radicals employing agents,
     lawyers, business managers, and guards who speak
     against crowds of slack masses yelling at them,
     shouting I “should be condemned,” that banned cover
     revealing more than me, but their own unease
     at something of themselves they see bared in me—

     that tendency of mine to dare uncover
     the underside of reality, unease
     nothing more than the tide where the storm drives me.

1Horace, “Epistle i, To Mæcenas”, lines 14–15, translated from the Latin by John Bartlett and edited by Geoffrey O’Brien in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: Eighteenth Edition, New York: Little, Brown, 2012; page 97. Written in 20 BC and first published as, “Epistola Una: Ad Mæcenas”, lines 14–15, in the first of two volumes comprising, Horatii Opera, cum Commentario Acronis: Epistularum, Liber Primus [The Works of Horace, with a Commentary by Pseudo-Acro: Epistles, Book I], Mediolani [Milan]: Per Antonius Zarotus [Printed by Antonio Zaroto, for Marco Roma], sexto decimo die Martii anno MCDLXXIV [March 16, 1474]; page [151]: “[N]ullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, / quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.”