He found himself alone
Reading the small bumps and cracks on the four walls that surrounded him.
The flies of interest were drowned by the paint that covered the cracks
And turned them to bumps.

So, there was no one listening to his lost lines of loneliness
Which is all it’s cracked up to be.
He heard that shrill cry of the wrongs he could not right
And no longer fight in constant sorrow from those claims of fault.

So, he let go of the eavesdropping notion of wanting and longing
Brought on by someone else’s pain.
See for yourself, feel for yourself, touch for yourself, heal for yourself,
The voice inside – demanded of him.

He listened in resistance to that obsession
Not victory but surrender.
And then in a shift, she appeared in a garden
With children and words and stories and life.

Something’s going on there he wanted to explore
But thought himself an outsider who could only look and listen.
He has been invited to speak and speak he shall
With words to water the seeds, shot into the ground by the archer.


KENNETH RAINS SHIFFRIN is a screenwriter, filmmaker and poet. He co-directed and produced the feature length documentary, Hubert Selby Jr: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow. He is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

2 responses to “Fly on the Wall of His Heart”

  1. Wow…My heart was racing reading this. I would very much like another, please. amazing.

  2. olivia dabo says:

    I love this man’s poetry and love this poem . It envelopes me in a truly visceral way to feelings ,emotions and images I think we need to feel and see more of . Thank you Kenny, please keep them ‘a coming !

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