Create a story set within the printed world,
With characters who get away with awful deeds.
Or frame a poem lightly metered, gently rhymed,
That tells a ghastly tale, or implants evil seeds.
Making use of words that in our normal life
Would get our mouths washed out with bitter soap.
But placed within the covers of a published book
They’re labeled art while huddled safely between quotes.
Our guys and gals can get away with awful crimes:
Can steal, molest, and plunder, rape, and kill.
Atrocities abounding can be made life-like,
Yet all is well if readers get a thrill.
Yes, in real life, we have to mind our manners well,
And smile and bow and act as though we’re saints.
But on the printed page we can write brazenly
And be forgiv’n for throwing off restraints.