Mark Tulin

The Beatnik Cowboy

The Backdoor to Freedom

I changed my trajectory,

left a lifestyle without saying a word,

escaped a career

through the backdoor

because of a steady numbness

creeping through my body

I didn’t want to die

like my staggering co-workers,

another casualty at an office park,

hunched over a desk

inside a cubicle of misfortune

like those who receive gold watches

and not much else

I took a chance like Kerouac

I hitched a ride out west

with a crooked thumb,

went from Barstow to Lompoc,

and ended up at a fleabag hotel,

a fifth of whiskey,

typing my memoir

on an old Smith-Corona.

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