Robert Brendan

(1979 / Calgary)

Back Pain - Poem by Robert Brendan

I have always had problems
with my back
since I was a teenager
when I was released from
the center
that was a pharmospital with
a set of security features at
the age of sixteen
I had a work experience
job at the high school
the only one that would take
oh but how I charmed my
way past their smiles
the job was in the library
where the librarian would always
tell at me for reading
and if I went on the
she would yell at me then
as well
I had to shelve all of the books
and push the cart around
this was not hard work

But as it turns out
I had this muscle in my back
that was
so after just forty five
minutes of work
I would be in so much pain
that I didn’t even want to
surf the fresh hyped
and dead slow
surfing with a fucked back
ha ha
so all I wanted to do
was read
and there were
some good books in that
high schools aren’t places for some
to get turned on
to literature
all of that came much later
she would get so mad
like she was stalking me
down the aisles
he pen was her Zulu
warrior spear
I was her boar and quarry
and when she would find me
in the aisles
she would grab me
sink her claws into my
and swear
and tell me to work

after one month of panicked
hours and another
of her yelling at
me even when I was not
I sent her an electronic mail using
the schools computer
I called her a bitch
said she made me feel terrible
and that she should be
nicer to people
I WAS sixteen at the time
this worm sitting beside me
ratted me out for writing it
they said they tracked me
down using cutting
edge technology
sharper than
the pain in my back

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Poem Submitted: Monday, October 17, 2005

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