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I first wrote the poem Grease Spot in 7th grade for a mail-away creative writing course I was taking.
My teacher was a retired English instructor from an obscure college in Indiana.
I didn’t know what she looked like, but I imagined that she worked at home
and wore a string of pearls.
Pearls can be both formal and casual, I thought.
The story I wrote before Grease Spot was about a jousting tournament.
Like most of the stories I wrote in 7th grade, there was:
A twisted villain
An unlikely hero
An underdeveloped love interest
And enough bone crushing, R-rated violence to give Quentin Tarentino a chubby.
I found a copy of Grease Spot when I was back in Reed City this past November
I also found my story about jousting.
My teacher had “strongly disliked” the hardcore violence of my jousting epic.
Which, in fifteen pages, managed to kill all of its various characters in very unique ways.
Later, “A Knight’s Tale” would reach theaters and become a modest hit.
I was furious
Those fuckers had stolen my idea
Had brought Queen into the picture.
And nobody died.
At least, as far as I can recall.
My teacher loved my poem as much as she hated my jousting epic.
Called it “food for Whitman”
I disagreed at the time,
mistaking Whitman for Robert Frost,
much like some people mistake Michael J. Fox,
for Charlie Sheen.
I am a better writer now then I was in 7th grade.
I used to describe everything.
Clothes, dirt, bugs, birds, eyebrows, shoes, perfumes, clouds, rust, rain
There was always so fucking much to describe
I now have to depend upon my reader having an imagination
And let them fill in the infinite amount of blanks left by the written word.
I decided to re-write Grease Spot after telling the story upon which it was based on in an audition.
The plucky auditoneers had asked me to tell my best joke.
I don’t know any “best jokes”
Just long, lewd, and obnoxious ones,
So I decided to tell the story that inspired Grease Spot instead.
They loved it, even asked questions at the end.
I didn’t get the part
But I did get inspired to re-write this poem
Take that auditioneers!
Maybe I’ll rewrite my jousting epic next.
I’ll call it:
A Knight’s Tale 2: A Tale of 2 Knights
The movie will star Michael J. Fox
Or Charlie Sheen
Depending on which one of them has Parkinson’s Disease
And which one of them doesn’ t
The following is my new version of the poem:
Which was originally called:
I also drew a picture to commemorate the poem’s new edition.
The picture is called:
My knobby knees clink together
I rush toward my friend engraved in the road
Flies dance about him
Like grease-painted pagans at a feast.
I weave through cars
Outdated and painted with desert dust
With my seven year old lungs pumping fresh
A bike bound together with wire hits the street
Its rider a compilation of rags and plastic bags
The rider’s chewed fingertips drag across the pavement
He swoops down to snatch my friend’s body away
I cry out
The rider turns
Brown eyes gleam jealous green
Holding his bounty by the tail
My schoolboy’s clothes and pale skin are argument enough
His maw opens in a smile
Shrunken lips gift wrap empty gums
He dangles his prize in my face.
Blood crusts the edges of my friend
As if he had rusted
His once lively eyes puckered and grey
Like rotten grapes
The rider points towards my friend’s husk
Then at his mouth,
A swollen tongue crawls from his throat
And drags across his lips.
Relinquishing my friend’s rind to the rider,
A functional death a better end
Than any ceremony could give.
As the rider pedals away
With my friend bouncing stiffly against his back
I sit by the roadside and wonder
What dish you can make out of a cat