|Death of Mr. Goodbar Envy, 1931 (rev)
A portly stranger,
whom I'll name here, "Sam Fats",
exits Florida National Bank:
Sunny steps. Sam stops.
Sam, your candy bar.
Sam has chocolate!—to share?
Sam clutches his chest.
Sam's shiney shoes
point toward heaven.
Mister, get up?
The lone witness was four.
Forty years later—revulsion, terror,
when I offered my father
a Mr. Goodbar.
21 Jun 06
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Period advert. for Mr. Goodbar
The Death of Mr. Goodbar Envy, 1931
'Sam Fats', exits the bank:
Sam unpockets. Open,
Sam, your candy wrapper?
Sam has chocolate. To share?
Sam stares. Chest clutch.
Sam keels, jiggles flat.
Sam shoes aim at heaven.
Sam, set up? yes
Sonny never again eats or thinks
Of Mr Goodbar
comma after Of in last line
I never rate. But if I did, this one would be high.
Typically, repitition of a single word bores the reader to the point of ignoring the repeated word. Not this time. Because the line breaks are handled deftly, and chosen for sonics as well as sense and sight, every line works.
This is brilliant.
fou-year-old witness must be hyphenated.
author reads the poem
(does the poem work ok?)
Oh, Diana: I forgot to thank you deeply for your helps of some time ago.
I've thought a lot about this poem and I do want it to be as sharp as possible.
The story is true. The "name" is made up. The little boy was all alone. His pappy
had left him to wait outside while he did his banking. The very fat man apppeared
through the doors. Took a few steps. Looked at my dad. Produced a Mr. Goodbar.
Proceeded to unwrap it, as the tantalized boy pleaded with hungry eyes. The fat man
stared done the little boy, and offered nothing. Suddenly he dropped the candy,
grabbed his chest and collapsed and quivered to a stop. And I never knew of this
until one evening when I happened to have a Mr. Goodbar at home, and innocently
offered to share with my dad. He recoiled and said "NO! Get that away from me".
A genuine phobia. The only fear I ever knew him to have or to expose. We never talked of it again, but that's when he related the story of how the phobia was implanted.