Dr. David B. Axelrod


I wish I could tell you life
is joyous, but those punished
for too long do not believe.
Pain is a faithful companion.
Who needs love?

Drugs can make one sicker.
Failure? Get used to it.
Then, there’s the paradox-
up worrying about sleep.

Suicidal? Not quite yet.
Hanging, too painful.
A gun-what a mess!
Perhaps the gas pipe’s
warm breath.

Despair is an incantation.
Despair is artifice. Despair
is a coal miner trapped
as air runs out. Hear
the faint tap, tap, tapping
that signifies existence.

Dr. David B. Axelrod, Suffolk County, Long Island’s Poet Laureate, maintains a website at www.writersunlimited.org/laureate where he offers his services to the public. Dr. Axelrod’s eighteenth and newest book is DECIDUOUS POEMS (Ahadada Books, Toronto and Tokyo, 2008). He is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards, including his being the first official Fulbright Poet-in-Residence in the People’s Republic of China. The New York Times described him as “A Treat!” He has shared the stage with such notables as Louis Simpson, Galway Kinnell, William Stafford, Robert Bly and Allen Ginsberg, performing at the United Nations and around the world. He has been translated into fourteen languages.