Bio Note: After my first publication ever appeared in October's edition of Verse Virtual, I have handled the considerable weight of this new-found fame quite handsomely, only letting it go to my head ever so slightly, and certainly only to the benefit of all of humanity. I have since been published as well in Rat's Ass Review. and while the fame has been nice, the income generated by it is scant, and so I continue to write, believing wholeheartedly that the poet's pot of gold is just around the next corner. Thanks for the support!
—In response to Not waving, but drowning by Stevie Smith Not drowning, but maybe, maybe you could throw me a line, anyway. Maybe send out a boat, filled with people reaching out, and even if they aren’t reaching for me, at least for the moment, I’ll believe that there is hope. maybe just not for me. Maybe… but maybe no… Maybe just swim out and see for yourself, the water is fine and the sun so nice! We can wave to the boats as they float by. They rarely wave back, at least not to me. I’m really not too far out and the surf is quite gentle, but I dare not stand up for fear that I’ll find the sand below shifting and drifting. So, while I am certainly not drowning, I really can’t swim at all, and maybe, just maybe, I am not waving goodbye. Maybe I am waving hello.
Originally published in publication
Boys and Whores
For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. -Proverbs 23:27 Religious texts read aloud pre-dawn made for a poor father’s poor response to a very young and inquisitive boy asking the meaning of the word “whore.” “Let’s just say it means evil woman,” and back to the Word we went, mindless. Later that day, after grade school lunch and a recess spent avoiding girls’ tags while chasing after boys with balls, I determined to put a new word to use. And so, I called Nadine, who had tagged me at the moment I had allowed a ball into goal, a whore… the first time I had ever made a girl, not a member of my own family, cry like that. “Why would you say something so mean to me?” It was partly because of the ill-timed tag, but mostly it was the worse-explained vocabulary. Nadine was an angel with bible-loving parents who took the time to better explain whores, as well as love and forgiveness and charity. I never got into trouble as a young man, not even for calling the nicest girl on Earth a whore, a word I never uttered again, outside of reading aloud from Scripture. My parents never got in trouble either, despite how terribly far off their definition of whore was.
©2021 Nate Jacob
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