2 poems | Walter Beck

Reflection in a Steam-Covered Mirror at Lorenzo’s Apartment
It’s no longer the face
Of a freewheeling kid on a wild weekend;
It’s the face of a young man
Growing too heavy around the eyes,
Running and burning out Before his time.

When Did the Rose-Colored Glasses Come Off?
My brother asked me one night,
Over a goon of Franzia pink,
When the rose-colored glasses came off.

They came off when I realized
All that matters is how fast
You can work the circuit board.
They came off when I realized
That if you can’t work it fast enough,
They’ll just throw you off to the side
Stuttering and sputtering.

They came off when I realized
That people run on paranoia;
Armed to the teeth,
Ready to shoot to kill
To protect their hundred-thousand dollars’ worth
Of credit card debt. They came off when I realized
That people cover their worries
With prescriptions,
While looking down on artists
Who take solace in a little Dirty Bird.

They came off when I realized
Nobody cracks a book anymore
Unless Oprah tells them to.

They came off when I realized
How easily shocked people are,
When I realized that
Rock n roll is still dangerous.

They came off when I realized
In a world full of plastic masks,
I was the only one crazy enough
To walk around with a naked face.

Walter Beck is from Avon, IN and is a graduate of Indiana State University. Part of the Third Thursday Poetry Asylum and the New American Outlaw Poets, Walter has been thriving in the literary underground for the last eight years, notorious for his raw verse and live performances often involving stage blood, make-up, and semi-drag. His work has appeared in Assaracus, Regardless of Authority, Burner, The Tonic, The Q Review, Paradigm, Camp Chase Gazette, and many others. Several of his chapbooks are available through Writing Knights Press. He currently works as the Gonzo Correspondent to the Colonies for the British online queer arts rag, Polari.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.