3 responses

  1. Any impressions? Two of my previous poems (free verse) were working me senseless to lineate, and I wrote this for a break. Part of the problem is poems are occurring to me faster than I can hone them. But a renovation project starting next week should take care of that. Thanks.

    Bubble Boy

    The girls would razz “You never smile”
    Though warmth was in his eyes,
    Alright. And when they sought
    To peg his type they dubbed him “Bubble Boy”
    For kicks. “What isolates you,
    Bubble Boy,” they’d laugh.
    Is it love?—we have a little cure for that
    To bring you back to planet us .
    And kissed him on the lips and cheek.
    “Oh,” said Bubble Boy with stolid face
    And not a trace of smile.
    “Well, we give up,” the girls said, flustered.
    “Time to pass you to the boys.”
    The boys piled on with whip and fist
    “Bubble Boy! You cut that preacher act!
    Though later in the hallway, sheepish,,
    One approached with guilty face.
    “Bubble Boy,” he said, with pain,.
    “I didn’t mean to hit you hard.
    Maybe it would help to know
    If you are gay, so am I.”
    “Thank you, “Bubble Boy replied.
    “But at the moment unprofound.”
    Everyone was flustered now—
    The girls, the boys, the teachers too
    “Bubble Boy, your stuck-up bitch!
    By what right this holy perch!”
    But Bubble Boy stayed cool to it:
    “Death is not a hula hoop.
    Some toys take longer to outgrow.
    The time will come when only I
    Feel your life or love you more,”
    He smiled.

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    • This may be your best effort to date, in terms of how long it holds together.

      You get just over a third of the way through before things have the feeling that they’re moving south (with the appearance of the boys). Your poem follows that odd trajectory that many of your poems follow—beginning in insouciance and ending in a sort of pent up rage. I suppose it could work, in theory, but in your poetry it always has the feeling of impatience with the poem iteslf—as if you deliberately want to tear down what you’re building. Also, and at the risk of being repetitive, omitting articles and punctuation doesn’t do your poetry any favors.

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  2. Thanks. A couple of non-poet friends agree with you—the “discount zinger,” they call it. I’ve mentioned before that I work dialectically. I write a free verse poem and that makes me want to write one in rhyme/meter. I write a violent poem and follow up with something sweet. An awful poem then something quite exceptional. I had run of heterosexual relationship poems and threw in a platonic one for the gays. Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve dropped Harvey Weinstein’s name a couple of times in derogatory contexts and that makes me want to write a “good Jew” poem. But I feel these “black sheep” poems are essential to my progress to another near perfect poem everyone can like. And it’s not like I have a career on the line. Moreover, whatever the first impression of my poems to diverse readers their second interacting with me personally—say, at a reading or wherever– would always be, “What a nice guy.” Even at Middlebury.

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