Final Notes from Life on Probation

I sat next to a woman in the lobby of the probation office. She was talking to a friend and the subject was her current boyfriend. Things were a little rocky for a few weeks, but had finally smoothed over after some heart to hearts. They had a unique history together. The boyfriend had slept with her two sisters and her daughter but she could see past all of that. It reminded me of a scene from a novel that’s never been written, nor remotely conceived because no other American writer has ever seen or heard what I have in these meetings.

The meetings are over and with this ending comes the end of my probation poems or whatever they were. Walt Whitman just took over and I let him guide me. I never tried to make the writing conform to any known genre. I became a poet during these moments, really for the first time, and produced poems that I know poetry journals will never publish because they wouldn’t consider them poems. That’s why they are poems.

We shall see if they ever see the light of publishing day outside of this blog. I wrote them to make sense of insanity and to fend off the cannibalization of my being.

We all shook hands and then I drove away for the last time, but I believe my mind will linger here forever. I developed a new, deeper empathy for people during my time in probation. I saw the debasement and destruction of basically decent people. I helped every way I could, from handing out clothes, toiletries, books, gift certificates and clarification of laws and processes. I was transformed into the person and writer I always wanted to become, but never conceived could possibly exist.

I plan to use what I have learned to serve in new ways.

Onward to the future.