My mentor at Antioch, Richard Garcia, gives up cool and weird things to write about. This a “No Respect” poem. We were to write a poem chronicling how bad our childhood was or current life is while including a Rodney Dangerfield quote. I managed to get it ALL in there. Right away I felt prose poem calling me. Lately I’ ve been writing poems in sections and this is the result. Please don’t feel sorry for me. It’s all made up. Mostly. It will also be published next month on this great site called Bananafish.
Kiss and Tell
“I tell ya when I was a kid, all I knew was rejection. My yo-yo, it never came back.” Rodney Dangerfield
The first female to hold my hand. Mom only turned around and yelled “Run fast
kid!”as we crossed busy streets, a Mother/Son Frogger video game. Though she
was good enough to pick me up when the Camry clipped my leg. And my club
foot that would make any 8-iron envious healed rather nicely. But Tanya’s hand
was more secure than any joystick I ever grasped. That was the last time I felt in
control: swinging her lovely limb up and down in tune to her happiness as she
sang, “Red Rover Red Rover send Robert right over!” Robert’s beefy body did
come right over, breaking our bond brandishing me a bloody nose, the love-
lines from that five year-old hand still imprinted in my sweaty, lonely palm.
A junior high Belinda Carlisle. I was irrelevant, untouched like an argyle sweater
beside a Members Only jacket. We walked to George’s Market after school and
sucked on cherry Jolly Ranchers. In the alley where the frosty Mexican boys
chilled on their shiny black Beach Cruisers, I professed my like. She told me to
close my eyes. Her moist lips christened my blistered mouth, no longer unloved.
Her friends followed us and screamed. Melissa just said, “I told you I’d kiss the
dorkiest dude in school, so pay up bithchezzzzzz…” They handed her their dollar
bills and she hopped onto the handlebars of one of the Cholos in training. She
changed her name to Shy Girl and they pedaled away deep into the Rio Grande,
her fresh tatted teardrops tributaries to my teens.
She is an extended metaphor. The kind that never ends. Non-stop negativity.
Curt sentence after another. The mother of my misgiving. She can’t tell me when
my birthday is, or our anniversary, my favorite color, movie, cereal, baseball
team or anything else that matters. She is the second-hand to my years of re-
jection. A wagging finger chiding me my emotions are tangled in words on a
page, my existence stems from my fingertips, and I need to be more observant
of beautiful things going on in the world around me. “Why don’t you ever write
about butterflies, sunsets, or love? It’s time to start realizing you’re missing out
on what’s important in life. Damn’ Poet. Why don’t you ever write about love…?”