The Rawness Of The Truth Of The Tale He Told

I thought his girl friend was his Lady Muse;

but he compelled her to remove her shoes

and, clad in jeans, show off her dark blue socks

by walking on a path of small, sharp rocks

that would have led her to his dormitory;

he thought this would raise him to social glory.

And when, audaciously, she just refused,

his spate of curses utterly abused

her feelings.  He wrote that way, too---slapdash,

poor spelling and bad grammar in mishmash;

exposing his bad attitude as rash;

his skill set, in a tin pan, was a flash;

addicted to his own ego, his stash

was stale as my own mother's roast beef hash.


Starward

Author's Notes/Comments: 

In September, 1976, I matriculated to a small, mid-western university of liberal arts, student population a little over two thousand.  I met this poet manque, this wannabe, on the second day of freshman orientation.  Somehow, he managed to insert himself into the affections of the most beautiful woman in the freshman class.


In the rigidly inhibited society of that campus, shoelessness was a metonomy for, and which caused, sexual attraction.  Though it seems childish, even perverse, now, the presence of a shoeless girl in one's dormitory provided a tremendous social rank; if, upon request, she stepped outdoors, barefoot, or flaunting her socks, this social rank expanded.  For a female to remove her shoes, voluntarily, in the room of a male was considered to be tacit consent to what, in the poet manque's case, became the imposition of date rape, although we did not know the term back then.


He also held the opinion that the more raw, unpolished and crude his poems were, the more verisimilitude they possessed.  His girl friend did not return to campus for our sophomore year.  The ostensible reason was a bad case of mono.  He revealed the truth to me, in September of our junior year, by compelling me (as an invited guest to his sweltering room in a dormitory in which the air conditioning had failed temporarily) to listen to one of his raw poems about the verisimilitude of his date-rape of his former girl friend.  When I suggested that the poem be burned, and the ashes flushed down a toilet, he chased me down five flights of stairs (the elevator had also failed), and until I found the exit, I actually feared for my life.

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