“Specimen”- A poem by Philip Schultz

I love these lines :

When I was last in Paris
I was dirt poor,hiding
From the Vietnam war
One night,in an old church
I considered taking my life
I didn’t know how to be so young
and not belong anywhere,stuck
among so many perplexing melodies.

The awkwardness of not belonging anywhere,of not being a specimen-that is what the poet is talking about.He was hiding from Vietnam war not because he was anti-war .He was merely hiding. One night,in an old church he considered taking own life.He did not belong to the religious faith. He was young and it was impossible not to belong anywhere.

There were so many perplexing melodies.How does one not belong to one?

Driving home, my father said,
“Let anyone steal from you
and you’re not fit to live.”
I sat there, sliced by traffic lights,
not belonging to what he said.
I belonged to a scintillating
and perplexing music
I didn’t expect to hear

This is the music he belongs to,not to what his father said. Finally one belongs somewhere.

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