The Effects of Fire on Fuel

A screed. A diatribe. A rant. An inflammatory evangelical oratory capable of inciting fury.
An opportunity to express the ferocity of my feelings without having to defend them.

That’s what I’m looking for. An occasion to bitterly complain without offering rational or
realistic solutions to the complaint; I want to bitch, loudly, to anyone in earshot and
to anyone who can read my words on a page or screen.

I need to assign blame to someone or something outside myself.

I attack perpetrators, not problems. Miscreants receive my wrath, but problems are
set aside, wrapped in a protective, noncombustible blanket–left for another day of rage.

I feel pressure squeezing me like I am inside a canvas balloon, as if my problems are
external and I am an innocent witness.

I react with words that set off, in my head, emotional explosions to release the pressure.

Those explosions don’t release pressure. They release kerosene and matches, sparks
and nitroglycerin, hydrogen and flames.

And so I dance in a pool of gasoline, slinging fireballs into the liquid at my feet,
consumed by flames I light with my own explosive words.

One day, only ashes will remain, evidence of the effects of fire on fuel.

I wrote this specifically to read at tonight’s Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee. I hope I have the opportunity.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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