I could hear the cartilage cracking,
Creaking, popping, capillary-snapping,
Fast-lacking listening in my left ear;
Fear tingle-snaking around my spine,
Throat-stiffening my whine
Through an improbably-crooked neck
I couldn’t quite hear near-breaking:
Fifth grade, Michael Jackson jackets,
Fredrickson and scrawnily only he
Could afford one it unfairly seemed;
And that’s when I floored one
Mis’ess Bryant with ‘Kiss-my-aspirin,
A mere whisper of mousiest meter,
Cringing at Goodgeon for stop-buttoning
The pop-and-lock-King’s fervid opinion
On the inconveniently dirty-dancing Billie Jean.
The teach wasn’t onset-mean,
But she’d suffer the cassette at banana-break
For just seven daily minutes clean;
And she used echolocation, I swear,
Better than having, looking there, seen
The twits about her hand-bantering
As to the worth of a diamond glove.
Where’s the other, we wondered;
Perhaps only rockstars could wear but one?
But, as to caring, I was sudden-done
By time she had me half-off-the-floor,
Pinna-towed past the classroom door
And donkey-pinned to that cold-war brick
For my Juvenalian metaphor,
An elementarily clever but, she was right,
Quite asinine choice of words
If so unbrightly blurted-for-the-birds aloud.
For Eubank’s paddle was maplewood-proud,
With nine nostrils to ease its heft
And help it whistle in the rarefied air
Until nothing could be heard
But a single, globulous, butt-hurt tear
Cough-shot, lip-bit, wide-eyed-splat
On that God-awful shiplap paneling.
Looking back, I did dreadfully need
More the channeling of a kid-wringer-Bryant
And Eubank’s Boolean forehead agleam,
Obnoxiously big glasses on his nose sweat-low—
Screw that shat-upon paddle though,
And to hell or Jerry Springer with Billie Jean!
Poetry: And Then We Were Four