Only The Dead May Live: A Poem

You enriched my mind so much.

You opened the doors to so many worlds.

And I felt alive and safe and invigorated,

Seen and heard and understood. A home

Away from home, a school within a school.

That’s why I never comprehended why,

After this paradise had been revealed to me,

You’d try to force me into a box and pretended

That I could only look at it and not live in it myself.


The compliments you gave me, the support,

The passion and enthusiasm you spread like

A benevolent wildfire, something that finally

Resonated and touched my heart, yes, I was alive,

There were voices within me, calling, a calling indeed,

That you set free, but after a while I saw you were waving

Chains, your hope for me was not compatible with the

Life I felt within me.


And all the things you loved and preached

To believe in, slowly faded away when it came

To me, the word realism, the word security,

The word money, the gut-wrenching concept of a proper job,

Exploded like bombs around me, everywhere I

Stepped, I wanted out, I was still holding on to those

Voices that arose, I couldn’t let them go, I didn’t want

To let them go, I finally reconnected with myself,

You showed me the way and now you tried to cut it off.


I really thought that you saw me for who I truly was.

I knew you had blind angles, but not when it came to vocations.

Why did you want me to crouch and submit myself and numb

Myself into this deadening system that erases creativity, that

Becomes blind, deaf and dumb due to never-ending repetition,

The good bourgeois job, days of old, playing it safe, playing it

Subdued, that was never me, and you tried to take that world

Away from me again, put it in a corset, a museum, only the dead

May live, you wanted me to become a spectator, earning tons of

Money, self-sacrificial, fitting into your world and our paths divided.


You don’t see me when you tell me to

Just get any job as long as it makes a lot of money.

You don’t hear me if you tell me

To just step back into a mentality that dries up imagination.

You don’t feel me when you tell me

That what I can do, what I am doing, is unrealistic.

And then I truly wonder, who are you to teach?

Who are you to speak?

Who are you to pass judgement?

close up photo of woman
Photo by Yan on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s