Poem for Poetry Thursday

Top 5 reasons I haven't written a new poem in two weeks.

5. August is really the cruelest month
4. My kids are time vultures sapping the life out of me (Mommy loves you!)
3. Haven't had an original thought in two weeks
2. I've spent my extra time sending out and revising instead of writing
1. I'm too distracted with the upcoming Red Sox-Yankees five-game series this weekend to write a new poem

Excuses! Excuses!

Well, with any luck I'll be back on track next week with something new for Poetry Thursday.

Before I get to the poem, I wanted to point out a new link I've added to my list. For those of you who send your poems out for publication, here's a very long but excellent list of poetry publishers who accept e-mail submissions.

Okay. This poem was originally published a few years ago at Can We Have Our Ball Back.


The next time it acts up
Hit it with a rolled up newspaper
Hit it because it wants something
Hit it until it goes away
Because it makes that incessant racket
Because it wants your attention
Because it cries
Hit it because you are annoyed beyond annoyance
Because talking is not enough
Hit it with last Sunday’s sports section
Rolled up like a nightstick
Or a Louisville Slugger
Hit it with the back of your hand
Hit it with the flat of your palm
Pop it in the mouth
On the head
On the ears so they ring
Hit it on the small of the back
Hit it again and again and again
Make it stop
Make sure it won’t do it again
Make it understand
Because it never learns a lesson
Once is not enough
Once more, for good measure
Knock the shit out of it
Knock some sense into it
Knock it into the middle of next week
Because it asked for it
Hit it because you feed it
You keep it warm
You give it a place to sleep
And it still won’t listen
Hit it because it loves you no matter what
Hit it because it can


FatCharlatan said…
Love the rhythm and the repetitions (hit, because, knock, you, once, etc). Really has a fabulous sound to it--RAW and REAL.

Some fab images, too: newspaper rolled up like a nightstick or Louisville Slugger.

Great stuff, as always, January!
bee said…
the end stopped me in my tracks.

hi, i'm bee. it's nice to meet you!
Suzie said…
Once again, I'm knocked over by your words! So powerful, hypnotic and dangerous.

I agree, August is definitely the cruelest month. I can't wait for summer to be over. I know, I'm weird.
jim said…

So nice to be back, and yes, you get a free pass for August!

Thanks for the link to the 'zines. I still do the snail mail route, but gosh, it's so easier, more ecologically sound, just to send it on-line. Anyway, lots of very good places on your list!

Oh, and your poem, pow! and ka-blam! (as in vintage Batman t.v. shows).
wendylou who? said…
I loved the "IT"...chilled me to think how "it" could be so different for so many people..so many different demons.
ecm said…
I loved the feel of this poem...the repetition and I was also wondering about the "it" and thinking of the many things it could be.
bb said…
that was absolutely chilling January, loved the rhythym and the content made me *cringe* (in a good way) you've done it again!!!

(p.s. thanks for the links - i'm with jim about the ecology of it all)
bizele said…
Everyone said everything. Your poem relates to so many things and with so many people.
Thanks for the list for submissions. I have not submitted much poetry, but maybe I will now. I'm glad you are busy submitting, (even if August is the cruellest month...) :D

Loved the photo, too! and the poem!
January said…
Thanks for the kind words this Poetry Thursday.

Bee: nice to meet you, too!

Jim: so happy you're back in the blogosphere.

Pepek: there are plenty of publications that are open to first-time submitters. Give it a shot, but expect a lot of rejection. It's the nature of the beast known as getting published.
GreenishLady said…
I think that's an amazing poem, with the use of all those "ordinary" phrases we've heard. The whole is really more than any one of those phrases would seem, and it's just chilling the reality you expose with this poem. Wonderful work.
twitches said…
That's a terrific poem! The idea of recommending hitting anything (which really seems to be about hitting someone, not something), and then for all these reasons, is shocking and effective.
Madeleine said…
these words are now MY words tonight. can i steal them for a second? i need something punchy and full of grit right now.
yes this is very powerful poem, and i loved/love it.

i am so pleased i visited your site tonight.
Like Twicthes, I saw this as a poem about hitting someone, specifically a vulnerable child.

I liked how your poem laid bare these stock phrases we use - exposing them for the hollow empty excuses (bad ones at that) they are.

So very, very powerful.

The rhetoric of spare the rod, spoil the child is so entrenched in parenting, it's astounding.

I loved this line, "Hit it because you are annoyed beyond annoyance Because talking is not enough"
SB said…
Powerful. Insightful.
Writing Blind said…
This is so good, I'm always in awe of you every time I read your work.
Dani said…
Oh, that was gut-wrenching! The fact that you affected me means that you did your job as a poet.
gkgirl said…
and wow.

left me a little
open mouthed
and stunned
wondering what "it" could be...

so well done!
Ceebie said…
I agree...This was a very powerful, and dangerous poem! Opening up the possibility of "it" to the reader...Wow
paris parfait said…
Absolutely terrific poem and wonderful photo - and no more excuses, Ms. Future Poet Laureate! :)

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