I can recall my college days
And those mindless beer bashes
Where freshman girls were getting laid
Without love, without passion.
I was a genius--a brain,
At least that's what the guys would call me,
But I would watch the girls in pain
And all the guys who claimed to ball them.

I felt a sickness deep inside
And some excruciating longing,
I found a world where I could hide,
Where I sought refuge and belonging.

In poetry my inner rage
Could find appeasement and expression
Each day I spent locked in a cage
Of alienation and depression.

And as I think of those days
When I would search for some affection,
I think I found a better way,
I found some meaning and direction.

No, women wouldn't talk to me,
My parents think that I'm lazy,
I'm still myself and will be me
Among these people dead and crazy.

And if, my darling, I should die,
I'd like the whole world to know
That I refused to live a lie
That everybody's faces show.

                                                April 14, 1989
                                             --Alexander Shaumyan