Grease Spot



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:

Grease Spot.

Which was originally called:

Grease Spot

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.

A truce.

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.

I nod

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