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If They Only Knew

A straight jacket hangs in my closet

An anniversary present

To myself

I painted my rubber walls

Tennis ball

Ultra yellow

Beat myself with a wooden racket

Laugh and bleed

Just to tease myself

Feeling is real

Bought wife a rose

I love her madly

She’ll see it when the pills pull away

Saved her the last two eggs

Hope she remembers to turn off the stove

I have to work

Some new health plan to help the middle class get hooked on pain killers

A bridge over sober waters

To help us through this crisis

If they only knew how beautiful pain really is

But then

I am the last con-moderate soldier

My vote is always the deciding tally

If they only knew

Hahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahaha

 

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10 thoughts on “If They Only Knew

  1. I like this poem so much that I’m finding it difficult to offer a critique. I guess that sounds like a pretty lame excuse, but I have made a copy of it to keep beside me for a bit. I shall come back when I’ve thought about it for a while. For now, though: congratulations.

  2. dude…love me a little crazy…the painting the walls and beating yourself with the racket def a nice touch and sets the tone…think i would condense by reducing some of the ‘i’s as they slow you down a bit and without make the pace a bit more manic…do you think pain killers might help….smiles.

  3. Such a powerful piece… love the manic feel, the stressed out feel of your piece. I agree with Brian that condensing a little would improve the pace, though a moment to breathe was also a nice feel.

  4. I’ve read this through a few times. It hasn’t helped me too much. I like the poem even more than I did. There are some wonderful lines in it: the first three for starters and then

    “Some new health plan to help the middle class get hooked on pain killers

    A bridge over sober waters”

    The poem sets out a philosophy – shall I call it that?” that many would not understand. My own feeling is that the poem does all that it could do to make the reader more sympathetic to the thesis. If that was part of your game plan, then the poem is a rip-roaring success in my book. I can’t see where any tinkering with lineation or vocabulary would help, so I have completely failed to be negative. Sorry!

  5. Hi Henry – well you wont be surprised to hear that i like this poem as i like what you do and this feels a little darker than your usual style – and i am a fan of dark as well as light – i love Jack – the shining is one of my favourites and i have seen linkin park live so you have just about ticked evry box – writing in this fashion whilst remaining focused on delivering a mind sound or a subtle idea or a notion -etc is not as easy as you make it look – although i find a great ease apparent in your writing that helps me relax – like im in compotent hands – this feels like a composite of two seperate poems – although their similarity allows for unification and you have included a juxtoposistion – the two halves work well together and create a dynamic that adds power and prevents over cooking – as they have similar tones but are not identical shades – i love this Henry its intelligent – surrealisim – my kinda writing – Big TIME.

  6. Chillingruesome! I especially like “Some new health plan to help the middle class get hooked on pain killers / A bridge over sober waters.” Only two crits: consider changing…

    Beat myself with an old wooden racket
    to
    Beat myself with a wooden racket

    &

    Hope she remembers to turn the stove off
    to
    Hope she remembers to turn off the stove

  7. I am always drawn to your work, Henry. You are one of my favorite poets, particularly because you wear a straightjacket when you think no one’s looking. My only hang-up with this piece is your tense switching. I’d stick with present tense.

    This is my favorite material:

    “A straight jacket hangs in my closet An anniversary present To myself I painted my rubber walls”

    “Laugh and bleed Just to tease myself”

    “Saved her the last two eggs”

    “A bridge over sober waters”

  8. henry – this is a powerful piece…great intro with the straight jacket and the beating – both strong images and then reader wonders…and then the unraveling of the story…wow – loved it

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