Thursday, October 14, 2010

Summa Cum Lauder

Wasted days and wasted nights -

Freddie Fender had it right

backstops and blacktops

and Leilani’s smile,

living on Cheetos,

red licorice and guile

Bruce was dancin’ in the dark

while we were drinkin’ in the park

pink pearls and the girls

at the volleyball games,

Ronny’s Chevette with the

spray painted flames

like broken gods in local myths

don’t believe me, ask The Smiths

study hall and basketball

and freshmen stuffed in lockers,

couldn’t back it up with much

but we were first-class talkers

Joey knew just what to do -

I wanna be sedated too

filmstrips and friendships,

that row in the back,

strollin’ in tardy and

blastin’ The Knack

makin’ out when we got bored,

kiss me deadly, Lita Ford

spitballs and shortfalls

we’d never confess,

the fever that rose

with the hem of her dress

Fishbone was skankin’ to the beat

while we snuck out and down the street

wizard bongs and Zepplin songs

and all we couldn’t know back then -

like what I wouldn’t give tonight

to see Leilani

smile again.

[the poetry bus poem that wasn't - or almost wasn't - or was just really late.]


willow said...

Actually a piece of red licorice sounds pretty good right now. Nice piece.

Julie said...

Wizard bongs and Zeppelin songs! Haha! I love it. And I wanna be sedated. I stole my big brother's Ramones cd. My daughter stole mine. It's timeless, ain't it?

Strolling in tardy...yep, I did that, too. Actually, it was today for work. Some things never change.

Thanks for another good read, Joaquin. Much enjoyed!

Ink Champagne said...

It's official: I love Thursdays!!

There should be a 'like' button on here, just like Facebook! :)


Karen said...

As soon as I started reading this, I thought, "This should have been a Bus poem!" It's sooooo high school,and I mean that in a very good way!

I always feel the musicality in your poetry, but this one evokes your particular era and all its attendant images. You make a time and place your own, and this one is clearly your experience. The "backstops and blacktops", the "Cheetos" and "licorice" are tempered by an adult perspective that recognizes the "guile" (love that combination - red licorice and guile)and that you were "broken gods". No teenage angst here, just the way it was, and how much we'd all like to be able to go back to that one place and time and see our own Leilani again.

Aniket said...

"makin’ out when we got bored,

kiss me deadly, Lita Ford"

How on earth do you come up with these??? I didn't knew the song, so just googled it hoping to find nothing and then asking you to share some details about that deadly kiss. ;) ;) But ah, well, this works just fine too. :D

Actually I came here to read more of your poems to "study" them, and write one my own today. It always helps. Thanks again for those most helpful tips. I always liked reading them, but I've truly begun to enjoy writing poetry now!

P.S.: Yesterdays xkcd was awesome, right? That guy can do everything! Poetry too!

Anonymous said...

"Bruce was dancin’ in the dark

while we were drinkin’ in the park"

I simply love the Iron Maiden reference. And all the other references too. God first you write a poem about science, then you write one about music and include all my favourite bands. I love your writing. More.

Terresa said...

Love the reality groundedness of this, especially these lines:

"like broken gods in local myths

don’t believe me, ask The Smiths."

I listened to The Smiths nonstop in middle & high school, and have a soft spot for Morrissey...

This is brilliant, the spray painted flames, the freshmen stuffed in lockers, reminds me of a John Hughes film -- approachable, relatable in every good way.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

We lived on early Zepplin, too, for a while...quite a kick, as is this poem! Wonderful universal theme here and commonality - we have all been "there". Timeless! :)))

joaquin carvel said...

willow - a piece of licorice always sounds good to me. thank you!

julie - so fitting for a ramones cd to be stolen through the family! thank you - better late than never, huh?

jane - thank you! i'll take your comment as a thumbs-up. :)

karen - see, i really did have one going! and yeah, it's pretty high school - which is ok, i guess. not exactly the glory days, but still days i wouldn't trade. thank you - and thanks for knocking this one loose. :)

aniket - yeah, sorry - it's a real song. thank you, though - you've got me excited to read your new poems now. :) and yeah - xkcd guy is genius. paradise city even!

swati - thank you - more to come. i very nearly promise.

terresa - i'm sure a lot of kids got/get through high school without the smiths - i'm just not sure how. thank you - john hughes?! wow. i'll take it!

k. - can't forget the zep - talk about timeless. thank you!

Dick said...

Excellent. And it's begging for a melody.