Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Ian C. Smith


The New York Times
in its header, after
Huntington Hartfordís name
could have referred to him
as a dreamer
or an entrepreneur
or arts patron
man of leisure
museum founder
grandson of a business mogul
theatrical producer (flops)
owner of a short attention span
supply ship commander (ran aground)
squire of glamorous movie stars
squanderer ($80 million)
husband (x4) adulterer (x?)
father (x3) cuckold (x?)
Harvard graduate (English literature)
newspaper/magazine reporter/proprietor
playwright (abysmal)
or bankrupt
but they chose

Second-rate lives

I wake at the suicide hour
thinking of Anne Carsonís poem
about punctuation
that free-for-all of vague rules
and a second-rate novel
about a teenage boy
in love with his mother
one of my sons
the one who gets my puns
is suspended from school
for throwing a chair
breaking boundaries
boys worry their mothers
strife punctuates my life
although no Charles Bukowski
I can throw and swear
damage people
when life is too much to bear
my son hangs around
suspended like a contrite comma
drawing detailed pictures
of powerful characters
maybe he will choose art
or avoid all the trouble

©2009 by Ian C Smith

Ian C Smith's work has appeared in Best Australian Poetry, Descant, Heat, Magma, The Malahat Review, and Meanjin. His latest book is Memory Like Hunger (Ginninderra). He lives with his wife and their four sons in Victoria, Australia. For more information see his Web site.

  Home Contributors Past Issues Search   Links  Guidelines About Us

Subscribe to the Slow Trains newsletter