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Hesitate - Raymond Hoffman

Can’t breathe,

Like a corset too tight,

How people like to dictate,


Too few, too many,

Can’t be normal after all,

Where’s the genesis of this complexity?

Pouring my own mold,

My mannerisms and interests can’t fall,

Didn’t ask for the distress,

If I smother it, I just become more dramatic for which I grasp after concealing my own thin heart,

For what is self and merit?

No canvas is complete without an audience to look at it,

And I’ve been praised, hated, and persuaded in many ways,

An existential crisis makes me spin like a top,

With the edge too near to just fall off.


Raymond Hoffman has a background in political science and Southeast Asian Studies. He has taught in China for many years and currently is a fifth grade teacher in the Midwest. Poetry writing has been used by him as a coping mechanism for bipolar disorder for over a decade now. Sylvia Plath has always been a great source of inspiration, as has been Albert Camus.

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