Hard Case by David Spicer

On birthdays I try not to whimper
or compile grievances I possessed
during puberty. None of that self-hatred
shit. I enjoy soft-core porn and bananas
for snacks. French lit appeals to my
sense of shame, so I avoid it like
pneumonia, even in dreams that serve
as satellite maps of my psyche.
And forget the gym. My failures
there were harbingers of my native
tendency to offer excuses against
physical tests. Echograms, too,
make me scurry and ride shuttles
when I can. I don’t follow
anybody, so I’ll never belong
to a motorcycle gang. I’ll also
confirm I’ve never met a cheat
I liked: lunged toward more
than one and stomped their asses
into pineapple-upside down cakes,
emptied their loads. In that condition,
they were still too elevated. Is this open
enough? Should I refer to my note cards?
If so, I’ll say, Skip me next time,
ban me from this nut ranch. Find
somebody without legs to give wheels
to, just don’t try to sway me toward
your rules. I dare you to lick
my memory clean, I don’t care. I’m tired
of squinting, of waiting. I’m done.

david-spicer-2
David Spicer has had poems in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gargoyle, Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The New Verse News, The Laughing Dog, Chiron Review, Easy Street, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, among others, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net twice and a Pushcart, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), and four chapbooks. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

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