John Libertus

First, You Say, You'Re Gonna Smile, And Then You'Re Gonna Frown - Poem by John Libertus

I was out ridin' the dog
good-lookin' dog
big, ol' black dog
good friend of mine
we passed some folks and waved
and they waved back
that ol' dog could fly
and it was the prettiest day
I was using a string
for a halter
but I didn't pull it none
that ol' dog liked to run
'Way out, we come to a switchback
an' like to run off an edge
and these two cops passed by
and I knew that one cop
was gonna wanta talk
I figured we didn't have no business
But he said 'Hold it! '
'n besides, the dog had gone runnin' off
foolin' around under this tree,

'n the cop said:
'Now you can't use that string,
gonna cut off his wind'

and the dog come runnin' back to me
with that string all tangled up around his head
an' in his mouth,
like 'John, get this offa me'

an' so I told the cop 'I'll get a leather strap
an' he 'n' I'll walk that twenty mile back to town'

When we got back
I see this guy standing
'tween the railroad tracks
with the train comin'
he looked like one of them guys
that advertise their brand of beer
and he didn't know which way to go
first a line of autos went past him
like they was in a hurry to get to hell
and then a train went past him on each side
an' I knew these folks on the corner
when he walked over
he said

'I liked that old car
that was parked out here'

'n my brother said
'it belongs to me'
'n he pointed to his roommate
'but you'll have to talk to my attorney;
I'd want a good price
but you could put something down on it.'

'n the old fella twisted up his face
'n said
'Sounds t' me like I'd be gettin' inta
some line 'a credit'

'n my swing was unwindin'
'n I told him:
'I usta sell cars,
and there ain't no reason to get mad
if a guy don't wanna buy.'

Comments about First, You Say, You'Re Gonna Smile, And Then You'Re Gonna Frown by John Libertus

  • (6/19/2006 6:13:00 PM)

    An unrivaled combination of hilarity and truth and fiction and despair. I feel you must have lied about the cops, since you're still online. The dog, I'm not so sure about. Did you steal him from the Moon goddess? Or was he just in the car when you got there? You really did take the swing, right?

    A brilliant work. Made me think, unfortunately. My favorite, so far.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 8, 2006

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