The Poetry of
Jack Scott

The Betrayal of Pandora

The time has come and gone for my evolution
into humanity
through transfusion or osmosis.

Having shopped while hungry
I am shamed by the homeless
as I pass them blindly by
praying for invisibility.

I am a squeamish killer,
timid amateur
coming to this act
I’ve practiced only on myself.

I taste fresh blood
in my mouth each morning
with no wound
or memory of wounding.

I imagine other symptoms
but do not analyze
or write them down
except in air with index finger.

The writer sharpens, sharpens pencils,
dull or not,
because he’s afraid to write
what he merely thinks he thinks. .
Last night we gift wrapped
Pandora’s Box
sealing it again at last
with a flourish and a bow.

Regifting may be impolite
but only if discovered
by those
who first endangered you-

Those batlike things
we kept imprisoned
after we’d released
the hope within.

I dressed her wounds,
then blessed her wounds
when hope
turned around and bit her.

Nothing stays put,
except what’s on the floor
where, gripped by gravity,
it stays right where it is.

I am the king
of a tribe of princes
stalled along the road to hell
debating good intentions.

I am a wreckage person,
I have torn myself apart
between one hand in disrespect,
the other in abstention.

If I could lay me down to sleep
and submit to slumber
I might dream armistice then wake and start again.

L38 ®Copyright 1972 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.