My Friend’s Opinion
“That’s not a very good poem.
In fact, it’s a shitty poem,” Rex pronounced.
“But, it’s about shit. How can you say it isn’t good?”
“It’s just not a good poem!” he insisted.
“Well, I’m butt-hurt that you don’t like it.”
I retrieved another poem, and then another.
It was meant as a love bomb.
“Have I read ‘Remembering the F Key’ to you?
I can’t remember. It’s about Alzheimer’s.”
“I don’t remember, probably. I don’t like poetry.
Especially, shitty poetry. I like Bukowsky.
Now, he’s good.” I looked up Bukowsky.
I selected one of his shitty poems and read it out loud.
“Except, that one. You probably picked his worst poem.”
I agreed. Bukowsky was a good poet.
“Have you ever read Elizabeth Bishop? I like ‘One Art’.”
I read her poem.
“I hate that shit. It’s all ‘Oooh, look at me! I’m a poet!
I can write poetry about writing poetry!”
I smile as I watch Rex add animation to his opinions.
“Poetry is life! It is good for your soul!”
flung from my lips with conviction.
“No it’s not.”
“Yes, it is.”
“No it’s not. If you don’t agree with me,
I will never let you read another poem to me ever again.”
“Well, it’s good for my soul!” my love must have shown.
“That’s it. You don’t get to read any more poetry to me.”
“Have you heard the one called, ‘My Friend’s Opinion’?”
I read ‘My Friend’s Opinion’ to him.
“You did not agree with me! You had never heard of Bukowsky.
Your poem should be about the truth.”
“Have you ever heard of Billy Collins?
I got to listen to him in person once.”
“No, I’ve never heard of Billy Collins.”
“He’s a Poet Laureate!”
How could someone never hear of a Poet Laureate?
I read ‘Hangover’, ‘Cheerios’, and “Divorce’.
Rex liked two out of three.
“When I was a little girl, I once wrote a poem about fish
and how their effervescent bubbles floated to the ceiling
of their fishbowl.”
“You were a pretentious little cunt, weren’t you?” Rex stood there
in front of me. “Using big words like ‘effervescent’ and shit.
In fact, in my next life I’m going to come back as a bully.
Then, I’m going to beat little kids like you up. Yeah, that’s what
I’m going to do.”
I’m glad I met Rex in this life.