STEALING FROM LIFE by Conrad Gurtatowski



With unrelenting persistence
I contemplate my relationship
with the world the way a pornographer
regards the female form,
a void where there should be empathy,
a numbness where there should be
a briskness of spirit

It is like stealing from life,
existing on fraudulent feelings,
a mask worn to portray
what I cannot convey,
a blancmange personality,
shuttered and barricaded,
bleached and faded, my days
spent like an imposter,
all pretense and improvisation,
faking the climax of interaction

The more I steal,
the less alive I am

~ Conrad Gurtatowski


Conrad Gurtatowski has his roots in the blue collar southeast side of Chicago, where he spent the first twenty-two years of his life. At that point he was drafted into the army, and after being discharged, held a succession of jobs; steelworker, railroad worker, insurance salesman, and eventually postal worker, where he spent the next thirty years.

Today he is retired and lives in the semi-rural surroundings of northwest Indiana, where he struggles to write the great American novel, while awaiting the election of the first Libertarian president.

poetry published in Barbaric Yawp, Blue Collar Review, Iodine, Valparaiso Review, Poets Art, as well as other periodicals.