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shit you salty dog

ran stamp press
at the ryko factory.
he was close to
seven feet tall
forehead like scripture
cinder block hands,
but he was a
big kid:
he'd de-pants people
standing in line
when hy-vee sold fried chicken
in the cafeteria
on wednesdays,
had this rusted out grand prix
he'd pull donuts
like a teacup ride
in the gravel parking lot
after friday's shift.
i don't know how
it got around the plant
i had a college degree
in psychology
one day
at first break bell
he motioned me over
to the stamp press.
he'd heard
i was a psychologist.
told him
that wasn't exactly right
how i only had
an undergraduate.
he said
that didn't matter for shit
i was the closest thing
to a headshrinker
he knew of.
told me
his wife
had been laying in bed
going on two weeks
but she wasn't doctor sick,
just said she was tired
that was about all
he could get out of her.
don't bullshit me,
he said
and asked
what he should do.
i asked him
if there was anything going on,
any changes in their life.
told me
they'd recently found out
their daughter was pregnant
but that was a happy thing.
told him
i didn't want to speak for his wife
but sometimes a thing like that
can roll through a person
like a hundred sided die.
i told him
ask her how she feels
don't offer suggestions
don't try to fix it
just listen,
if it got worse
drag her to broadlawns
and ask to see a psychiatrist.
next day
he grabbed me
as i walked into the cafeteria
for lunch.
shit you salty dog
got my first knob-job in years,
he said
taking my breath away
playfully jabbing my ribs
with those cinder blocks
before putting me in a headlock
and kissing me
flat on the cheek.

20 Mar 08

Rated 9.7 (8.3) by 3 users.
Active (3): 7
Inactive (8): 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(6 users consider this poem a favorite)

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Do you always write in this style? Whatever, this held my attention, as usual, and hit the spot. Very good stuff and so darned accessible.
 — unknown

did justin do this?

: )
 — fractalcore

I want to tell you to PUNCTUATE but I got too caught in the story to care.  Forehead like scripture - what a great line!
 — Isabelle5

66-69, now that's advice every guy should listen to! Listen up,guys!
Great poem!
 — unknown


thanks for reading.

 — unknown

Hehehahaho! Fun one. Good job. You get a gold star.
 — themolly

This poem belongs among the pantheons of the greats.
 — unknown

yes, this was really great to read. engaging.
 — DeformedLion

Shit, you fuckin' awesome poet!  This is da bomb!  I applaud you and your way with language put to paper.  I was once a factory boy too and was put in many a loving headlock back in da day.  This reached my heart and most importantly speaks to the masses in so many loving, honest ways.  Right the fuck on!  You go!
 — starr


thank you for reading.

 — unknown

God, I had to come back and read this again.  I fuckin' LOVE it.  :-)  
 — starr

an accessable poem about common man raised to the uncommon by your excellent writing.
 — PaulS

this is how people used to write, and this is how people ought to write today. after reading 'dharma bums' last night, i especially appreciate this poem-- you ought to be proud of this work.
 — fishwife

Y'made it!  #1!  I've been waiting for this to happen for the past week!  Congratulations, buddy!
 — starr

-- a tale well told with all the Poetic versification it needs to stand 7 feet tall -- write on
 — AlchemiA

i don't know what to tell you, it's a completely autobiographical poem.

 — unknown

I know what you're doing, sir, and I like it.
Are we on the same page?
 — OKcomputer

i like this :)
 — net_traveler

this is really powerful writing. i am sorry that this comment isn't very powerful itself, as such a good poem as this deserves. i was expecting pessimism, as the title suggests, but i didn't get that at all, in fact the opposite, which deserves points.

good work. Justin, it is always a complement to read your work.
 — listen

good one.

been awhile.
 — mould_jesus