Sunday, November 27, 2011


Everything starts here
in my composition book
just like the ones I never used
for school work
too busy scribbling my subversive poetry
in study hall
a nasty little parody of Beowulf
or The Night Before Christmas
a drunken Santa staggering around
busting up the furniture
always thought drunks were funny
still do
art imitating life
I guess
I was past the days when dad
barely able to stand
took the car out one New Years Eve
and wrecked it
injuring some innocent family members
in the other vehicle
somehow getting a ride back home
and taking our other car out
and wrecking it on the same night

the guy was a gas

one day I said this is such B.S.
this idea of school as a full time job
and I vowed to stop taking homework
and made good on it
my last two years of high school
nobody cared
the funniest thing was
they let me graduate
dear old mom and her Second Big Mistake
would be at the beer joints all night
I'd stay up alone on Saturdays
in that isolated farmhouse
watching Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi on late night TV
I wanted to walk like an Egyptian
I could always count on them
to come home fighting
ripping the phone out of the wall
and busting up some furniture
so comical
I'd pass my nasty rhymes around in class
Teach would be up there with his blah blah
my poem circulating up and down
each row of desks
even the girls snickering
and passing it on
and Teach
protector of impressionable minds
intercepting the paper
beginning to read
beginning to laugh out loud
catching himself
face turning red
going on a diatribe about how such trash
was the product of a sick mind
but it was too late
I'd already caught him
in the act
and gool ol' Mom lying there
in a pile of chicken feathers
from a ripped up pillow
and ol' Doc from town would come out
and patch her up
it was a small town
and Doc's young daughter
prettiest girl in my Junior High class
asked me out one time
to a roller skating party
it occurred to me much later
that he must have put the kabosh
on that from ever happening again
with the likes of me
and Santa cursed
and flipped them all the finger
as he rode out of sight
after busting up some furniture
of course
always thought drunks were funny
still do
but only funny
if they're funny
and not morose
more points if he's staggering around
with a lampshade on his head
every comic knows
that comedy comes from pain
so please don't stand there
with that look of disdain
and try to change me now


  1. hmm what a beginning, it starts early on! :) I agree comedy comes from pain, oftentimes. I liked the pic btw, nice!
    my entry:

  2. deep explorations on life.

    Happy Poetry Picnic.

  3. This seems very sad and horrifying for the son who witnessed it all. It is too bad that the teacher moralized instead of appreciated the creativity that was born from and instructed by pain and fear.

  4. This comes from a deep place, Timoteo - and I am familiar with the territory. I appreciate the irony in Mom and her Second Big Mistake. I totally relate to this tale, and remember what it feels like to be a kid in a life like that. Thankfully, we made it through, with sense of humors intact! I love your writing!

  5. Life is full of drunks, 'cause life's too hard, forget the children they don't have a care in the world,some people should never be parents...heartbreaker this one, and I'd personally slap someone around, but hey, no judgment, Oh Tim

  6. Wow! I think we might have grown up in the same house and town. In any case, excellent write!

  7. Not a lot of laughing from me--just some applause and the surprise I always get when you show me just how good you are. I tried to be the class clown many times but I'm just not funny enough for high school. Intentionally, anyway. Excellent poem, and my pleasure and your bad luck that you had to write it.

  8. ugh...the dad wrecking both cars in one night and the teacher himself who has a sick mind with mom...i read this when you published it the other day and did not really know what to say...i guess i still dont...

  9. LYNNAIMA, MORNING; Thanks for your comments. That teacher was cooler than it sounds, ARLENE, it's just that he had to put on a show to keep his job.I consider everything to be a trade-off, SHERRY, and I probably wouldn't be half the writer without these formative experiences...soooo...
    You are right, LORRAINE, I think the MAJORITY of people probably shouldn't be parents. MARBLES: Kindred spirits know the score! Thanks, CELLO!
    HEDGEWITCH: Thanks luv! I came out okay in spite of it, and SOMETIMES I can even consider that stuff a badge of honor! Hey, BRIAN: What you said is fine, man.

  10. loads to say about this write - but it all looks like sentimental BS when i write it down.
    anyway - poetry puts the past out to pasture where it can shit without doing any harm; sometimes it even looks good on the grass.

    cheers man - this is a great read

  11. AARON,
    Love that pasture metaphor...thanks, my man!

  12. I hate that it's you who was forgotten. The kids always are. My grandfather was an alcoholic, and after he sobered up, he remembered none of the awful things that he did.

    I'm just thankful you were able to become the wonderful person you are despite it all. And, thanks for putting such a personal piece out there for us. That takes courage. You are awesome :)

  13. This poem makes me, an ex-drunk, ache in all of the right ways. I wouldn't be an ex-one if I'd been a sweet, kind, silly one. This is rich, compelling, delivers such a punch in a deceptively off-hand way. Wow. xxxxj

  14. This is so, so good: he comedic moments woven of deep pain, the cynical voice touched with implied hope/independence. Wow.

  15. Tough going in this school of hard knocks...poem fuel.

  16. Thanks,LORI. Always makes my day when I hear from you. Much appreciated, are a true kindred spirit! I like your keen insight into things, VICTORIA. OLLIE: Or as I call it--The University of Adversity!

  17. what else can we do but laugh? cry? nice write.

  18. wow. this hurts and holds...