Split decision (language)

by Allan Haslinds

With a shove, the glossy blue plastic barks,
tumbling across the white-grey floor with a clatter,
chased by a bruised apple
and a peanut butter cookie in a waxpaper bag.
"Hey, look at him. It's the fag, the ass-fucker,
the greasy Greek" it shouts
to a hot and stifling room,
smelling of canned soup and week-old milk.

Unconcealed smiles smash into my face,
followed by shouted jeers, each a blow.
The lessons of Socrates and the might of Alexander,
ancient crowned columns of Hellenic strength,
each shout silent instructions from the ringside corner,
but my long-tired arms are too slack to raise a glove.
Six millenia of civilization crumple to the mat,
and I just want to be from Baltimore.

I go to find my apple.


Author's Note: Taken from a poem written realtime during a post to my "Thoughts on how to write" folder. This would be stage 2, with a bit of editing, but comments and critique is desired.

Posted on 05/13/2003
Copyright © 2021 Allan Haslinds

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Agnes Eva on 05/13/03 at 07:30 PM

i like having the omniscient view into this scene, with its sounds, colors, and moving action, as well as perceptions, implied social & historical pressures... i don't have critique, the moment seems whittled & fine tuned to me.

Posted by Kate Demeree on 05/16/03 at 06:51 PM

I like the work for it captures the scene and emotion very effectivly. There is one part though that struck me as odd with everything else seemingly brought to life.. you use this line "the greasy Greek" it shouts " It seems as if you as well as they are demeaning. Does that make any sense?

Posted by Jeanne Marie Hoffman on 05/28/03 at 08:48 AM

I see an adolescent, tormented in the cafeteria, who drops his tray, and as he looks where his food has tumbled, he wishes he could be like everyone else. He curses his background because it prevents him from fitting in. He knows he should be proud of his culture's strong background, but he just wants to be "normal". Am I close?

Posted by Mara Meade on 06/13/03 at 12:32 PM

What a comment on intolerance... excellent poem.

Posted by JD Clay on 05/23/04 at 06:31 PM

This is a mischievous rendition of stylish verse, Allan, a statement unveiled in metaphoric detail. My only suggestion; the reversal on the last two line, unless your intention was open-endedless. Pe4ce...

Posted by William Brunk on 07/20/10 at 12:25 AM

great tie in w/last line. beautiful imagery in this one. good write.

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