Poem – Living Outside the Box (By Mankh)

Living Outside the Box – By Mankh

The Empire likes to put people in boxes,
from airy crib to nailed-tight casket
and in-between in psychological boxes,
wrapped identities with ornate bows
but never bowing with humility,
packages to be delivered, opened, liked, disliked,
discarded, shelved for coffee table conversation starters
scripted performances fearing surprises
yet jack-in-the-box can provide pleasant giggles
jumpstart one’s breath and sense of spontaneity,
but beware the Empire’s jack-in-the-box jettisoning
jarring personas, jerks suddenly springing out,
trying to shake the Peace.

The Empire likes to track people in their boxes
pay-to-play self-identification,
credit cards, membership cards,
driver’s license, registration, insurance cards,
yet the free-self learns from its self
opens its own cosmic package
tears away the layers of false identities
until some unextinguishable little truth
shines forth.

The Empire likes to box behaviors,
label them like pharmaceutical diagnoses
the best, lost seeking found, damaged, return to sender,
yet free-self permeates the atmosphere
can’t be taped shut with its mouth sealed
legs crossed back bent, for every give ─ a take,
yet just being is the primordial gift
whose unraveling shows you what’s next,
shows how to spiral thru the Empire
where the subservients box themselves,
box each other,
box the-powers-that-box.

Tired of bloody noses i call it a wrap
step outside for some breaths of air,
go inside where no one can label or ship me,
where no one can give me away, take me for a ride
or use me as a party favor, go inside where no one can
cheapen the night.

Living is the ace in its own hole,
try to play it light.

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small press publisher and Turtle Islander. His newest haiku chapbook is “so many people go hungry.” He also hosts an audio show “Between the Lines: listening to literature online.” You can contact him via his literary website.