Poems from "Fractional Disorder"
by Gary Beck





In prison cells

the lifers sit

and do not think

upon their crime,

but pass the time

pumping iron,

other diversions

that ease confinement,

at the expense of taxpayers,

including victims,

in a confused land

that stores felons

behind stone walls

far from cities,

so we forget

violent offenders

carefully preserved

at enormous cost

despite heinous acts,

while the needy

go hungry.



a black line


Change is Constant


Fewer people

read books in public,

once a common sight.

Now hand held devices

connect us to information

and electronically deliver

books, music, any kind of data.

Despite apprehensions

of print devotees

there is no turning back


As long as we have a power source

to run our equipment

few will miss

the smell of a new book.



a black line


Fallen Empire


A great civilization

has countless obligations,

most to its oligarchs,

some to the people

and if things go well

there is plenty for a few,

a lot for some,

almost enough for many.


When decay sets in

troubles at home,


are too demanding

and services crumble,

disaster overwhelms

the will to endure

and only the wealthy

live in comfort.


Despair becomes contagious

and the spirit of resistance

to constant inflictions

dwindles faster and faster.


I think of Rome

in its waning years

rule collapsing

country by country,

until all that remained

was a hollow land,

citizens trembling

in fear of the future.



a black line




Despite years of unjust wars

increasing poverty,

decreasing opportunity,

many of us still believe

the promises of the constitution

even while we’re denied

the rights of life, liberty

and the pursuit of…

As inequality grows

across a dwindled land

where the few eat caviar

while many need foodstamps,

we lack good men and women

to redress iniquity.



a black line


Rabid Disease


The spurned boyfriend

embittered by rejection

seethes with anger, outrage

that he is unwanted,

and ego, vanity, self-esteem

crushed in separation

torments him,

until possessed by madness

he takes his pistol,

goes to her house,

shoots her dead,

then ends his life,

a meaningless span

punctuated by murder

committed by someone

of no redeeming value.


a black line

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