Thursday, April 16, 2009


Sticks and stones and all of the rest.
You know the words.

Mother's voice rings crystal clear,
while over and again,
John's meaty hand impacts a lesson

A closed fist pedagogy, unequivocal
but no less so
than the whispers in the desk behind.
Muted laughter,
a crush discovered, supposed,
and the object of affection
making sure to stop by
and take a good sharp tongued stab.

In response, as always,
formulated, thought of, planned,
but nothing ever done
in the hopes that if the head
is pushed far enough down
everything will go away.

When John comes back,
listen to the good Dr. Suess
and carry a big stick,
or two,
then your troubles
will have trouble
with you.

But then...
What if troubles only spawn troubles?
And how do you hit a word?


  1. I like this poem, James!
    I think, though, it might want to be a longer poem, especially to give us some history for the second stanza??
    Tell me what poet you are reading now and how did you choose that poet to read?

  2. Thanks for the comment, Slow Reader.

    I think it does want to be a longer poem, because it stems from a longer story. I had cut out the back story for the second stanza for brevity, but I think I will look into fleshing it all out more.

    Right now I not reading much poetey, though recently I have read Ken Babstock, Billy Collins, and Patrick Lane. No reason for picking them, really. I haven't stayed current since my old poetry workshops.

    Truth be told, I like Cutullus, Rumi... poets with a few centuries perspective.