Air Station Poet Pens His Prose;

26 Jan 2001 | Cpl. S.K. D'Alessio

Some may call him a pencil pusher as he shuffles and scribbles through stacks of official military papers and records, but this clerk is really a poet.
Every day Lance Corporal Melvin L. Livermon, Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 orders clerk pushes pencils, pens, computer keys -- or anything that makes words.

This 23-year old, Fort Meyers, Fla. native surrounds himself with his work during the day and his poetry at night. Along with Livermon's two published poems, "Last Tear" and "Wondering Heart," published in an internationally sold book titled "Sparrow Grass," he has stacks of other poems in his home -- many written on scraps of paper, napkins, matchbooks and playing cards. All of his poems are signed with his alias name -- 2-B-CON-10-U, meaning his poems never end "there will always be something else coming."

Although Livermon gives most of the credit for his work to his fiancée, Terilyn Wright, many of his poems were written to old flames. "They're just friends now," said Livermon, referring to his past girlfriends who first sparked his interest in writing poetry.
Livermon writes in what he terms his own language -- slang.

"If you don't know the slang, you might get lost in my writing," said Livermon. "I would categorize my style of writing as ghetto - that's the only way. It doesn't matter what you write about, you just write in your own language - disregard grammar."

In his high school days, before he had much style, a friend, who read many of his poems, handed him a newspaper with a poetry contest advertisement and encouraged him to enter.

"All I did to get published was send in the poem," said Livermon. "If it wasn't for that friend, I probably wouldn't have even tried."
His first published poem, "Wondering Heart," focused on his relationship with a high school love:

Girl, I ask you this from deep within my soul.
To come to me when ever your heart grows cold.
To never go where even you heart can't see.
To always let the spirit of love guide you back to me.

"My writing started with women and love, but then I began to write about more diverse topics, like politics and culture," said Livermon.
Livermon also writes about black history, its heroes and how they prospered. In one poem titled "Africa's Pride," Livermon describes his feelings about how his ancestors were taken from their homeland and transported to America as slaves. Although the poem starts off on a solemn note, it ends with the abolition of slavery and their freedom from bondage.

"People say I'm a very vocal person -- so when I ain't got nobody to talk to, I put it in writing, with the intent that somebody will read it someday," said Livermon. "I do it 'cause, I got somethin' to say.

"I can take any subject and flow with it; I release a lot of stress from work through writing," said Livermon. "After I'm done, all of my off-the-wall thoughts are gone and I'm runnin' again."

Livermon, who claims to be "just a regular guy," plans to "keep runnin'" -- in the Corps' administration section for at least the next twenty years. Currently, he is compiling some of his writings for a book of his own called "Surrender," but until then, he'll just keep pushing pencils.