Author: Gary Beck



Gary Beck/Contusions




Public housing was built

to better the condition

of the urban poor,

providing decent apartments

alternatives to tenements.


City planners didn't foresee

that along with regular people

the disaffected moved in,

dependent on welfare,

hating the hand that feeds them,

turning to drugs, crime, violence,

polluting the community,

intimidating their neighbors

until disorder took root.


Many youngsters were attracted

to what seemed the easy life

of the drug dealer, prostitute,

while gullible kids didn't listen

to the mothers who cared for them

because of what they saw around them,

the sharp clothes of the drug dealers,

the ready money they flashed,

the girls that hung out with them.


The allure of local glamour

was much more desirable

then boring, hard work at school

necessary for a future job

that seemed infinite years away,

so they were seduced by evil,

not realizing dealers died young,

prostitutes died of disease,

the illusion of success

brief, harsh, terminal.


The loss of many youngsters

who could have contributed

to a needy society

adrift with crumbling values,

diminishing morality,

is a crime against nature,

a perversion of nurture

and as our grandeur fades away

there is little thought for youngsters

lost from us each day

who are owed more by our system

then hate, alienation,

and might still be redeemed

if diminutive leaders

accept their obligation

to serve the people.


Contusions is an unpublished poetry collection that explores the aches and pains we suffer from the assault of life.