Monday, September 27, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

The cries of joy ring out, it's a boy! It's a boy!
pale knuckles and sweaty palms relax, a deep sigh is released
but the immediate urgency thrust on an infant wrapped in blue goes unnoticed.
He doesn't yet know, but that little "Y" that made him a he
is going to finalize the spelling of his masculinity.
He's been cursed, as have we all, with that first identity.

He's been scrapping, scraping knees and flailing five year old fists
The kindergarten schoolyard handed him some real violence today
and in his fear and confusion, he confessed, crying to Daddy.
Daddy's what your sister calls me. It's time to call me Dad.
You've got to be a man son, and this man's son isn't gonna cry
unless he wants something to cry about.

GI Joe at eight years old and violent flicks with Dad.
He loves the guns and blood, the smell of sensationalism
The winners always win, and he's a winner.
He's kicking ass at sports and kicking ass at recess.
He's become the alpha dog, his pack circles his target
and he lets loose with fists, being painted with blood and tears
the former makes him a man, while the latter makes the opposite of his prey.

The faculty doesn't call home anymore, his detentions are not uncommon
and he wears them with a sort of pride. Besides, the man on the other end of the line
may as well be a broken record.
"Boys will be boys"
"Boys will be boys"
"Boys will be boys"

"Fourteen and no girlfriend yet? What are you, boy, a faggot?"
High school is a lesson first, his attitude and violence are
met by adult students who put him to the ground enough that he gets the hint.
But his classmates are dominated by his masculine presence, and with the hormones growing
and flying at such a furious pace, he knows the world is his. The girls are his.
Dad's right, after all, he needs a girl, lest he be a queer.
His popularity with peers, his power and prestige purport a predestined path to pussy.
He picks the hottest one, a trophy to atrophy the status of those beneath.
Nobody can touch the alpha's girl, hence, nobody can reach the alpha.

It's a four year journey of cramming lessers into lockers
A four year story in which, to many, he is the main antagonist.
He is Man among God. Excelling in all things social because every other
would-be alpha dog is tonguing his heels. A prince on the field and a jester in the class.
And of course, a king, when prom time comes.
His Dad provides the beer, which makes the night a bit of a haze.

But what he remembers, he defends.
"That faggot kid got what was coming to him. I'm just sorry the ambulance got to him in time."
"Fuck it. The janitor can clean some puke up. That's his job."

His girlfriend had passed out, but he had taken the opportunity to prove his manhood.
"Yeah, she passed out, but you saw how she was dressed. Don't tell me that slut didn't want it.
I'm pretty sure she mumbled yeah anyways. Besides, bitch was so drunk she didn't even make me wear a condom."

Her friends plead with her to do something about it. But she insists that there's a sweet side to him they can't see.
She stays by his side, and stays with his child.
And as the months pass, and her belly grows, he finds himself beginning to pray.
For what, nobody can be certain, but he is praying fervently, furiously, day and night.
The time goes by, and his prayers are answered.
Pale knuckles and sweaty palms relax, a deep sigh is released
The cries of joy ring out, it's a boy! It's a boy!


  1. Dan!

    I am just giving your poem a thorough reading while I am supposed to be learning about Schopenhauer.

    These are my impressions as I read:
    -the third line seems a bit long and clunky. the other lines in the opening stanza have great rhythm! (and some nice internal rhyme)
    -love the play on y/spelling
    -not crazy on the half-rhyme of identity and masculinity. i like your rhyme when it is subtle and not at the end of lines.
    -perhaps you could put some quotes around the conversations? ex. the one with the boy and his dad
    -sensationalism doesn't seem to fit with the diction of the stanza it is in
    -i like the play on kicking ass
    -you could leave the being out of being painted
    -the former/latter distinction there also seems a bit hyperformal
    -i like the form-break in the next stanza
    -i'm not sure what you mean by "high school is a lesson first"
    -lest eh? :P
    -i think that your alliteration of the letter p is terribly apropos, though it becomes a little excessive in the power/purport line perhaps. i think the phrase "predestined path to pussy" is a good one.
    -i feel ambivalent about this second usage of the word pussy
    -why is he man among god, and yet the alpha? this seems like a strange use of etymology.
    -tongueing his heels is a good phrase
    -i like the transition from prince to king, but find the phrase 'makes the night a bit of a haze' mediocre compared to your others.
    -love the line: what he remembers, he defends
    -i'm not sure about the switch to the girl's point of view at the end of the poem.
    -i like how you end with him praying for a boy. hurrah for circular thinking!


  2. Bobby Brown Goes Down by Frank Zappa