Grease Poet

A poem by Richard King Perkins II

Carl the mechanic
was the first poet
I ever met—
livin’ at home
takin’ a few classes
at the local CC
I think us younger guys
in the neighborhood
kinda looked up to him
because he was sort
of a regular guy
but when he
came out cryin’ one day
and showed us his
first publication
he sniffed that he’d
tried to show
his old man
what he’d done
and all the old drunk
could do was laugh
and drip snot
all over the pages
Carl said this was typical
of how people
treated poets
which was why I knew
I’d never be one
so I asked Carl
to pop the hood
of the Charger
and show me
the spark plugs
or something.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois, United States with his wife, Vickie, and daughter, Sage.


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