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shit you salty dog
unknown

stephen
 1
ran stamp press
 2
at the ryko factory.
 3
 
 
he was close to
 4
seven feet tall
 5
forehead like scripture
 6
cinder block hands,
 7
 
 
but he was a
 8
big kid:
 9
 
 
he'd de-pants people
 10
standing in line
 11
when hy-vee sold fried chicken
 12
in the cafeteria
 13
on wednesdays,
 14
 
 
had this rusted out grand prix
 15
he'd pull donuts
 16
like a teacup ride
 17
in the gravel parking lot
 18
after friday's shift.
 19
 
 
i don't know how
 20
it got around the plant
 21
i had a college degree
 22
in psychology
 23
 
 
but
 24
 
 
one day
 25
at first break bell
 26
he motioned me over
 27
to the stamp press.
 28
 
 
said
 29
he'd heard
 30
i was a psychologist.
 31
 
 
told him
 32
that wasn't exactly right
 33
how i only had
 34
an undergraduate.
 35
 
 
he said
 36
that didn't matter for shit
 37
i was the closest thing
 38
to a headshrinker
 39
he knew of.
 40
 
 
told me
 41
his wife
 42
had been laying in bed
 43
going on two weeks
 44
 
 
but she wasn't doctor sick,
 45
 
 
just said she was tired
 46
that was about all
 47
he could get out of her.
 48
 
 
don't bullshit me,
 49
he said
 50
and asked
 51
what he should do.
 52
 
 
i asked him
 53
if there was anything going on,
 54
any changes in their life.
 55
 
 
told me
 56
they'd recently found out
 57
their daughter was pregnant
 58
but that was a happy thing.
 59
 
 
told him
 60
i didn't want to speak for his wife
 61
but sometimes a thing like that
 62
can roll through a person
 63
like a hundred sided die.
 64
 
 
i told him
 65
ask her how she feels
 66
don't offer suggestions
 67
don't try to fix it
 68
just listen,
 69
 
 
if it got worse
 70
drag her to broadlawns
 71
and ask to see a psychiatrist.
 72
 
 
next day
 73
he grabbed me
 74
as i walked into the cafeteria
 75
for lunch.
 76
 
 
shit you salty dog
 77
got my first knob-job in years,
 78
he said
 79
taking my breath away
 80
playfully jabbing my ribs
 81
with those cinder blocks
 82
before putting me in a headlock
 83
and kissing me
 84
flat on the cheek.
 85

20 Mar 08

Rated 9.7 (8.3) by 3 users.
Active (3):
Inactive (8): 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(6 users consider this poem a favorite)



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Comments:

Do you always write in this style? Whatever, this held my attention, as usual, and hit the spot. Very good stuff and so darned accessible.
 — unknown

did justin do this?

excellent.
: )
 — fractalcore

I want to tell you to PUNCTUATE but I got too caught in the story to care.  Forehead like scripture - what a great line!
 — Isabelle5

66-69, now that's advice every guy should listen to! Listen up,guys!
Great poem!
 — unknown

fractalcore,
isabelle,
unks,

thanks for reading.

justin.
 — unknown

Hehehahaho! Fun one. Good job. You get a gold star.
 — themolly

This poem belongs among the pantheons of the greats.
 — unknown

yes, this was really great to read. engaging.
 — DeformedLion

Shit, you fuckin' awesome poet!  This is da bomb!  I applaud you and your way with language put to paper.  I was once a factory boy too and was put in many a loving headlock back in da day.  This reached my heart and most importantly speaks to the masses in so many loving, honest ways.  Right the fuck on!  You go!
 — starr

molly,
lion,
starr,

thank you for reading.

j.
 — unknown

God, I had to come back and read this again.  I fuckin' LOVE it.  :-)  
 — starr

an accessable poem about common man raised to the uncommon by your excellent writing.
 — PaulS

this is how people used to write, and this is how people ought to write today. after reading 'dharma bums' last night, i especially appreciate this poem-- you ought to be proud of this work.
 — fishwife

Y'made it!  #1!  I've been waiting for this to happen for the past week!  Congratulations, buddy!
 — starr

-- a tale well told with all the Poetic versification it needs to stand 7 feet tall -- write on
 — AlchemiA

i don't know what to tell you, it's a completely autobiographical poem.

justin.
 — unknown

I know what you're doing, sir, and I like it.
Are we on the same page?
 — OKcomputer

i like this :)
 — net_traveler

this is really powerful writing. i am sorry that this comment isn't very powerful itself, as such a good poem as this deserves. i was expecting pessimism, as the title suggests, but i didn't get that at all, in fact the opposite, which deserves points.

good work. Justin, it is always a complement to read your work.
 — listen

good one.

been awhile.
 — mould_jesus

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