Ice T Spit on My Foot & other poems

Ice-T Spit on my Foot

I have been going
to night school
after work
so I can learn
some new things,
to broaden myself
at forty-three,

I met this roofer
at school
who told me that
all the roofers and electricians he knows
do boatloads of cocaine
and he’s been doing too much roofing
and too much cocaine
so he’s trying to learn
computer programming
to get a new gig,

Ice-T is in our school
to study for a new role,
I stopped him
when we were all stepping out
for a break
and said
Hey, man,
I don’t know if we ever met
but I helped you and Coco
with that thing a few years ago
so we hung out for a bit
talked,
mostly about music,
we were sitting down
and I took my shoe off to
work out a pebble
he was talking about
a new band he’s working with
and that they were listening to
a lot of Michael Jackson lately,
he said
he was awesome,
he was one of the very best
and I injected:
too bad
about all that stuff
with the kids
Ice-T stopped talking
he looked at me like I was crazy,
like I had vomited fire
he spit on my foot
stood up, turned his back
walked away
and said,
Fuck you, Flaherty!

Wayne Coyne, photograph by Charlie Homo
Wayne Coyne, photograph by Charlie Homo

My daughter stole a jar of mayonnaise today.

I didn’t notice until I was pulling her out of the stroller.

I saw her gnawing on the seal of the jar and remembered the market we were in posts photos of shoplifters on their windows.

Tess is ten months and one week old. She has laser blue eyes and a yard-long smile that contains four teeth: two top, two bottom.

I feed her,
bathe her,
I give her a bottle,
read to her
and put her to bed without a hitch.

Helicopter Boy

In the summer
we rode bikes,
going to really cool places,
places
we invented and
sometimes
doing
terrible things.

Even though he was older than me,
the disability
made him look older, foreign,
like a large Peruvian,
he smelled
like clean steel,
his mouth carried teeth
that were too big
for his mouth,
his face wore heavy,
thick glasses
he had a big ten-speed he called his helicopter,
a much better bike than mine
that he always kept in third,
I rode my cousin’s dark red Schwinn
that had no gears
and when all the kids
would drink soda
and try to impress girls
with their belches,
Ernie and me would ride bikes
fast as we could,
shoulder-to-shoulder
all along Route One.


Poetry Writing

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