A Ripped-Up Man- Poem Inspired by T.S. Eliot - Caelum Pewitt

I once had a sense for you
I tasted your air and then I knew.
Like tape unraveling the paper on a wall,
Revealing my emasculated bare self
It gave you no security, no lust or wealth
Nothing in my possession
Held worthy of your passion
Head trapped; abiding by our worldly ways
But locked inside your heavenly stays
(“There is nothing more than this place…”)
Everything around me is left to shatter
Despite my derailment, I will listen to the chatter.

Out the door,
And then back in again.
Tired of this
Incessant repetition—
Two older women whisper
As I hold the door open for them:

“Why did she ruin herself in sin?”
Her poor mother grieves the feminine,

her kin!”


Praying to Prometheus to put me on the pyre
To burn this body of mine; to set me on fire


Bottled juice I cupped in our embrace
Bottled juice that you left to waste
Back on the gravel path with vague, dark lights
The universe expanded into infinity
The stars once shone with great might
Now I open the door to a familiar vacancy
Your sense, your touch is no longer there
I am empty-handed; Through me, you stare.

the everchanging
I believed to be everlasting.
Why is it that
      people change for the worse?
You forced me into
      wishing time would just reverse.
Did your eyes
Speak lies
This entire time?
I am unwound—yet you reveal your secrets now?
I hate he, that he.
Do not speak of him to me.
Five years. Five years I believed
I was the one you seek.
In this desolate room, I ponder
Who you truly are:


Innocent, forgiving, submissive,
Inconvenient, defending, evasive,
You are. You are. You are!
Interrupt my wandering gaze
To the position where your finger lays
You had all the time of day
The gift of hope, the gift of life
The gift of husband, the gift of wife.
Beside him, I crumble.
The disaster explodes across mountains
I am left to mumble.
Hatred vast, cycling blood-red fountains…!

Praying to Prometheus to put me on the pyre
To burn this body of mine; to set me on fire

The scissors scrape,
                but shall I cut?
The fabric cloth frays
Deteriorating strings in my grasp.
Am I allowed to snip it in two?
Am I allowed to give
What I gave to you?
Ensnared in the consistent time loop—
Of waiting and patience, lowering expectations
Shackled with burdens,
In my purest distaste,
He haunts my ideals and suppresses Plato’s forms
He is the bird and I am the worm.

This severed connection is screeching chalk in the ears.
This severed connection is the worst of my fears!


Never once were you cradling my insecurities
Each day I wonder if you cradle him: that baby.
Let the child speak, but he decided to hide away
“Maybe he is shy,” you say.
Months and months pass,
Heat exhaustion from summer; you probably kissed then
Under a Fool moon, you heard his confession
Now the leaves flutter down,
All golden, all brown
The baby went to sleep, and at midnight, he creeps
He crawls to your safety
Will I ever meet the baby?

I am stapled to the wall
Born to present nothing at all
Born with the knowledge that I am mutilated
The pieces of me are fragments on display
I am stripped
Like crumpled sheets ripped
From an angsty
Teenage grip.

If I am cursed to unveil to the public eye,
Why does your sheltered baby always cry?

I shook you to and fro
Begging you not to go
But no.
The smooth skin I revered and envied
Is tainted with his press,
but I digress…
Savor his sweetness because it will soon spoil
So I will belittle his weakness until he coils.


That baby of twenty—
He burdens me so.
That baby is empty,
But you love him though.
Should he not stand mature and resilient?
As he is protected by status,
The automatic
Default chosen.
To stand as the
                                                     Of a man.


Scroll to Top