the poet who wrote bad things about everyone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 21, 2017

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Submitted: June 21, 2017

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Odie tells me that people who use metaphors are melodramatic wannabe poets, and that metaphors are stupid because they are misleading. I tell him he's wrong and that he's a stupid uneducated hill Billy whose a worthless shart stain in Uncle Brian's underpants. He snaps back at me "That doesn't even make any sense cause I'm clearly not Uncle Brian's shart stain." I says back to him "Well of course it don't make sense to you. You're just a dumb hill billy fuck who don't get metaphors." I realized after that that I was destined to be a writer; a poet. But not just an ordinary poet. The kind of poet who finds  the most horrible things to write about the people he knows. After having the dispute with Odie I ran to my room and pulled out my notebook which smelt of old fermented coffee. The pages were falling apart but my thoughts were as sturdy as a bone. I must have written ten pages worth of all the shitty things about Odie, and how I felt about him.

 

Later that night, I slipped the pages underneath Odie’s bedroom door as he slept; probably dreaming up some facade like becoming the National Racecar champion. For me being a ten year old little prick I’d say I wrote up some pretty, impressively nasty shit about Odie. I couldn’t wait to see his reaction tomorrow morning.

 

“Ma! Ma!” Odie runs into the kitchen with my short novel of poems and cries to mamma. His hand is held up high with the crinkled pages. I’m trying to remain composed but you could have probably seen the half eaten grits falling out of my mouth, smirking like the devil’s scamp, not giving a rat’s ass who gonna get belted by Pa tonight. She consoled Odie with a maternal hug; her large bosom sitting above his head. Ma takes a drag out of her fifth morning Marlboro. She inhales deeply with contempt as she looks at me first, and then bringing her eyes down to the pages of my expected Pulitzer Prize. “Don’t look at me. I’m the young one! I’m supposed to be innocent!” She starts to read them aloud in a sternly fashion.

 

“ Odie loves Brit, the schoolyard tramp

He squirms at night, so  the bed goes damp.

She ain’t the nicest and she ain’t the prettiest

But for a ten year old tramp, she definitely the tittiest!

Odie’s a simpleton; a retard I should say!

He writes cursive in crayon, let alone can’t write an “A”

I swear to God he was supposed to be Ma’s aborted ashtray!”

 

I’m dying in laughter and I humour her with “Why is Odie even crying? He probably doesn’t even know what any of those words mean! Please go on!” I suppose Ma will be doing the belting prior to Pa’s belting. “Odie, sit down and eat your grits.” Ma grabs me by the hair and drags me into the living room. I laugh and I laugh as I mock Odie with another brilliant stanza:

 

“Odie’s a Goddamned fuck-up

He can’t even convert metric

He’s got a pencil for a dick

Oh and by the way, he’s dyslexic!”

 

Ma gives a dozen slams on the hand and a dozen more on the ass. I don’t even shed a tear cause I know she’ll be the next one in my novel. “You can expect a dozen more from Pa when he gets home. I am just so disappointed in you, Jeremy. Now scram; go to your school you little brat. And don’t be writing anymore of these obscene poems. Or you’re going to Juvy!” I smile and say “okay.” I scramble away like eggs with my mean, gritty smile. Before I leave the front yard, I see Ma’s petunias growing well and growing fine. I stick my finger down my throat to induce a glob of grits vomit which gently pour onto the flowers.

 

When I got to school, I passed by Brit and said “Hello.” I was delighted to know the things I wrote about her as looked her right in the eye. Brit’s the worthless wet dream that every boy has but never truly lasts. She’ll result to nothing and I’ll be saying my acceptance speech at the Pulitzer Awards. I walk into class thinking of what else can rhyme with “tramp” and what other dirty metaphors I can stir up. The teacher began our lesson, and throughout I wrote more and more; about Ma, about Pa, about the teacher, Miss Stewart’s false teeth; about Principal Shauf’s wooden leg and how it’s infested with horny termites; about the boy next to me, Ted Turner’s polygamist family and how they are going to Hell. But I’m going to Hell too so I’ll have so much more time there to write about them.

 

When recess came along, all the kids knew about my shocking new talent. This kind of power has really just been hidden within me. It’s just that now I’ve unlocked its full potential. It’s like when you hit puberty. And it’s more than likely I had a tiny parchment paper and pen with me before I was even born; writing down every detailed emotion I had felt within my mother’s cold and deserted womb. The kids crowded around me with mixed feelings. Velma eagerly asked, “Did you write something good about me? Please! Tell me it wasn’t anything bad.” There was a look of dark despair within the gap between her teeth. Ted was flustered: “You didn’t write anything about my family did you? Did you?” Maxinne was a wannabe writer as well but lacked originality. She was basically trying to lecture me. She was all up in my face, her nose touching mine and her breath reeking of old Cheetos and Fruitopia (and not in a good way). “Fiction? Sci-fi? History? Poems? If they’re poems make sure you use similes and not metaphors because EVERYONE knows that metaphors are misleading? You need to make sure you communicate properly in your writing” she persisted. I really wanted to lay one on her but there was just too many kids surrounding me. Odie was still crying and going: “He probably writes bad about everyone. C’mon! Let’s see it, Jeremy! Fess up!” He reached out with his dirty hands and snagged by satchel. I tried to get it back but the tough bastard knocked me on my ass. He began to read. His diction was terrible.

 

“Ted is an abomination of in-breeding

His father’s seventh daughter is also his wife

With the perfect size who does all the breast-feeding

Ted is sure to be incestuously scarred for life”

. . .

“Velma’s hair is beauty brown

If only she’d be willing to go down

With a perfect complexion; a creamy white skin

If only she had no toothless grin”

 

The bastard goes on to read about Brit. “Go on, go on. Read it you dumb hill-billy fuck.” After hearing my words come out of Odie’s terribly spoken mouth, the look of poor Brit’s face read: devastation. Everyone spat on me, cursed me to the ground and expressed how I should burn at the stake for this. But I was much better than them. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. You’re all gutless, pathetic children. Am I the only kid here who’s got chutzpah?” I ran off home, fatally injured from the childish bastards who weren’t even worth a dime. I may never be fit for a nomination of the Nobel Peace Prize but I’ll sure as hell get the Literature Prize.

 

It’s the evening and it’s almost time for a dozen beltings from Pa. I’m upstairs “sulking” according to my brother because that’s the biggest word he’s ever known how to pronounce. I then hear Pa come home. Frantic commotion abrupts quickly. Thirty minutes later I hear: “Jeremy! Get down here, boy. We need to talk.” I try to keep my chin up as I drag myself down the stairs. I walk into the living room and I see the principal, the teacher, Velma, Ted and Brit’s parents all sitting on the chesterfields. I’m in deep shit now. “You’re mother tells me you’re quite the writer. Well go on. Have a seat there next to Polygamist Bill. I’m sure he’s giddy to hear what you wrote about him.” Pa starts to read aloud and as his eyes carefully take in the words, I saw how he lit up. It was in a way that was incomparable to how the others read. He got to Ma’s stanza.

 

“Mamma’s got a pair of thighs that can really squeeze

Don’t dare stand in her way, she’s got double Dees

She’s got more udder than a cow with tits

And don’t come for dinner, cause her cooking’s shit!”

 

Pa starts to chuckle. I’ve never seen him laugh. “Phil!” Ma snaps and gives him a really nasty look. “Sorry honey. Anyways …”

 

“Pa comes home always sick and tired, just needing a drink

He wish he had no nose, cause his wife’s cooking really stinks

His wife nags and it gets him down, it’s a shame they have no fun

He’d rather be out drinking, fishing with his favourite son

 

He laughs but not as hard this time. His eyes are watering but not from the joke. I couldn’t really think of anything mean to say about him. He says softly, “Everyone can leave now. I’m gonna talk to the boy. Straighten him out.” They all left kinda upset but also confused, not knowing what really happened. Pa brings me upstairs to my room. He closes the door. What was to happen next? “You know I once wanted to be a writer … But my parents were never supportive. I had this great big notebook full of writing. I wrote kinda like you to be honest. I would have the notebook stuck to me wherever I’d go. Except one day I forgot to bring it with me to school. And I came up with this really great idea. So I brought this great idea home to write down, but my notebook was gone. My parents got rid of it. They thought I was too distracted with the book. After that I lost the idea. And I stopped writing for good. But you should never stop writing, Jeremy. No matter what you write, I know you got it in you to write something really great. And don’t listen to any of those people who tell you not to write. Don’t listen to the discouragement. Don’t you ever.” He got down and hugged me.

 


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