Thursday Nov 30

CareyKevin Kevin Carey teaches in the English Department at Salem State University and Endicott College. He has published two books—a chapbook of fiction The Beach People, from Red Bird Chapbooks (2014) and a book of poetry, The One Fifteen to Penn Station Cavankerry Press, 2012). He has recently completed a docuentary film about New Jersey poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan, called All That Lies Between Us.” A new collection of poems, Jesus Was a Homeboy (CavanKerry Press, 2016) . Find his website here.

The Weird Kid

I was the weird kid in grammar school.
I was shy, I made noises when I walked,
strange gulping sounds in my throat
and I stuttered when we read out loud.
But I was not without talent. I could roll
my stomach like a belly dancer
(a big hit in the coatroom closet)
I used to do it singing My Baby Does
The Hanky Panky, and I could make myself
turn red by holding my breath.
On good days I got closer to a deep purple.
Sharon Malfitano, the class president,
sat behind me. She had an election poster
of Dracula saying, “all I vant is your vote.”
Sometimes during a test or when we were drawing,
I would turn around and stop breathing
and tighten the muscles in my neck
and quickly my white Irish skin would turn
the shade of a radish and she’d smile
and eventually if I held it long enough
she’s start laughing at me.
I guess you could say I had a way with the ladies.