July 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Three / Online
Dan Provost
Disgruntled Youth Worker

I’m holding a kid who’s trying
to cut himself... He’s in a
large isolation room, angry that
he was kicked out of Mr. Smith’s
encounter group...

As I grab his arms and push him
against the wall– trying to assure
him that he is safe and everything is
all right, I rest my head against
the bricks that sprawled
with graffiti;

Writings that remind me of how much I suck...
Drawings of my mother being sliced and
murdered by the angry minority...

I drift into daydreams while the kid screams
details of haw he’s going to kill my parents
with a knife.

He will cut open their hearts– then stab himself with
the murder weapon.

He is screaming.
I am dreaming.

Dreaming of Ginsburg and his words of disillusionment...
Dreams of Kerouac and his journeys into L’america
Morrison, Rimbaud... all troubled icons.

I think of their mind-altering vices...
Booze, drugs... Slow death...

Staying in a constant haze because they saw the
truth on the wall.

What truth? What wall?
Christ, what truth did they see...

They were upset with ideals... I am upset
with reality.

My truth is right in front of me, a kid trying
to mutilate himself– someone who has
been spit out and chewed out by life...

Parents who raped and beat him...Society
that scorned him.

School systems that ignored him...

Yes, I will give my best effort in calming this
kid... this victim.

I will then get into my crap-mobile, drive home and look
out a sooty window...

I will drink beer till I cannot stand,
until I forget... What truth is

for me.