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Saturday, April 11, 2009

 

April is Poetry Month: No. 2

So ... I figured I'd drag out a few old poems, and publish a new one or two.

Cancellation
by T.J. Sullivan © 1998

The newspaper carrier
Kept throwing my paper farther and farther
Away from the porch

It used to be that he’d hit the door with it at 4 a.m.
The sound of tightly wound newsprint hitting wood
Woke me up most mornings
But it had been months since
I heard the thud

For a few weeks he was throwing it on the steps
Leading up to my door
Then the porch below it
His favorite spot in December was the walk
In front of the house
Two months later the paper was on the curb
Then it was in the street

I stumbled out that morning
Half asleep and hung over
In boxers and a white cotton Fruit-of-the-Loom t-shirt
Then he rammed me from behind with
That station wagon with the bad muffler

There were photographs of my under-dressed
Corpse
In the newspaper the next day
Complete coverage
With a map showing exactly where my house is located
And a dotted line where his car skittered over me and away
They think he headed for Calgary

My neighbors said I was quiet
Except for that Cuban salsa music
And those mornings when I would just scream
'(Expletive deleted)'
But other than that, they didn’t notice me much

I’ve been dead for about five months now
And my porch sits yellowed and full of newspapers
The new carrier on my route was told
'Make sure you hit the porch
There have been some complaints
And we don’t like
Cancellations.'


— TJ Sullivan in LA

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