Thursday, March 16, 2006

Roll Call or: Why I Never Went To Many Parties In New Sarepta

Here's the poem that I used to wrap up the Raving Poets show on March 15. It was one that was constructed largely on my lunch break at work that day. It's sort of list poem I guess you could say. This is just a collection of hyperboles of redneck archetypes that I suppose you could say exist, although not so exaggerated as they are here, in many of the small prairie towns in Canada. It also gave me a chance to name drop my old home town of New Sarepta and although it's a poem that probably paints a rather negative view of New Sareptians (?), it was a great place for me to grow up and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. Still wouldn't. New Sarepta, don't you ever change. Ever.

Also I apologize for the formatting here. The lines should be broken in a sort of hanging paragraph format, which is hard to render in HTML.

And remember, none of these people actually exist. I just wanted to work with caricatures of character types I saw around me.

Roll Call
Why I Never Went To Many Parties In New Sarepta
irradiated spermbag walking hard-ons following the weatherveins [sic] in their cocks in
winds of perfume and feminine hygiene products.
slopey foreheads, hairy dragging knuckles who call their lovers "bitch," "slut," or "sugartits."
5'6 mall creatures made 6'3 by baby blue lycra push-up bras, whale-tails indignant at you for staring at their breasts even when their nipples are poking you in the eyes.
militant homophobic single helix primates, lower echelon bottom feeders, testosterone bulls who call their friends "dude," "dudester," and "dudeness." Conversely referring to strangers and enemies as "fag," "faggot," or "cocksucker." Nary a shade of grey to be found.
greased mullets who spit when they talk.
razor-knuckled STD banks in their budweiser thread bare halter tops, masks of near-clown make-up and running open sores threatening to extinguish their home-rolled cigarettes on your forehead for even suggesting you have no desire to have sex with them.
mouths full of chipped chiclets looking for a fight, looking to score, knowing that in a place like this fighting and fucking are one and the same.
puke-stained flannel jackets floating almost disembodied through throngs, wildly gesticulating at this group or that group, tossing out beer from plastic cups until it becomes pale, golden rain.
overbearing glad-hands, complete aliens really, people you can't recall coming at you with "you old son-of-a-bitch" and not knowing if it's a term of endearment or some sort of redneck throw-down.
five ounce brains rattling around in 10 gallon hats.
shitkickers actually used for kicking shit.
belt buckles the size of pro wrestling championships.
wolf whistles punctuated by friendly gropes and innuendo as thick as sledgehammers to the face.

yeah you.
i'm looking at you, new sarepta.

where are the numerators
in this crowd of denoms?
the red-blooded humans
among the cromags?

my mind is starved
and this is a feast of crumbs.

Michael Appleby
March, 2006


Mike Gravel said...

This fucking rocks. I'd like to get the woman a shirt that says "sugartits", but alas, I like my nads where they are.

Great piece, Mikey!

JOhn said...

I read this out loud to some visitors who were drunk. Being from small towns they found no offenses only truth. I think I like this more than Mr.Gravel.

Michael said...

I think maybe if this blog ever gets a huge enough following and I decide to take advantage of a merchandising opportunity with it, I'll design a t-shirt that says "sugartits." It might even look handsome on a coffe mug.

As for the poem I'm quite amazed at the positive response that seems to be generated by it. I had very low expectations for it. In fact, I was terrified that people who grew up in small towns would take offence to it or that liberated women would see some of the descriptions of the females as an indictment of women everywhere or that people suffering from STDs would also find an indictment in the text. I've had bad experiences in the past where I've felt negativity come about from poems so sometimes I get gun-shy.

I'm glad that the audience so far has been objective enough in their approach to the poem to see that these are more stereotypes and archetypes than clinical illustrations of people.

Selina said...

Long time no post!

I think people are perhaps, like me, responding to the eloquent and amusing descriptives used and are therefore not offended in a personal way. Anyone from New Sarepta probably thinks, "I know that guy!...But this in no way refers to me..."


Emerson_Emergency said...

I laughed so much when I read this, because of the acutely identical traits that I saw in my home town.

Cold Lake: Remembered often, visited little.