Thursday, April 14, 2016

Poetry and Photography By David J. Thompson

Piggott, Arkansas Photograhy by David J. Thompson

The High Notes

That summer we lived across the pasture
from a family of Kosher butchers. Stay away
from those Jews, my father the preacher said. 
You’ll stick with our own kind, if you know
what’s good for you, but  I ached hard for Lilly,
their beautiful eldest daughter; she of the dark, 
tumbling hair, alabaster skin, and nipples
of the softest, sunset pink.  We made love 
every morning in the barn after she tended 
to the lone dairy cow. The mad shrieking
of the horrified animals breathing their last 
out in the killing yard was like the music
of angels to me in those hours of pure delight
on the moist morning hay, the cup of fresh milk
she gave me to drink like the sweetest of wines.

One early September morning, her father surprised us
with his long killing knife just as we finished
with each other.  He pushed me off darling Lilly,
and, with a few quick strokes, left me wailing 
in a way like never before as he dragged my love 
away from me.  I heard a few days later in the hospital
that Lily was seen crying at the train station on her way 
to teach at a boarding school for tubercular girls 
up in the mountains far away, never to see me again.
It was for the best, I guess, I wouldn’t want her to know
that the small, special parts of me left for the barn cats 
to fight over had me trying to remember her touch 
and groping myself in vain at night, hitting all the high notes 
every Sunday in my smiling father’s church choir.

Guymon, Oklahoma Photography By David J. Thompson

Maybe Boys Against Girls

It ended for good a few weeks ago,
he tells me.  Sheila was having her period
and when I got home late from drinking
after the game, she went all apeshit on me.
Started chucking stuff all over the kitchen.
I didn’t know what to do, so I slapped her.  
Not too hard, just enough to quiet her down before
she woke up the whole goddamn neighborhood.
Maybe I shouldn’t have hit her, but tell me, 
what the hell would you have done?

Before I can come up with an answer, he leans
across the table and says loud enough to turn
some heads at the bar toward our booth, You know, 
one day, back in sixth grade they sent the boys to the gym
to play dodgeball, while all the girls watched 
a movie in the cafeteria.  We pretended we knew
what the girls movies was about, but now
it’s thirty years later and I still don’t have 
a fucking clue.  Why didn’t they have a movie 
for us? he asks.  Maybe I would have learned
something, wouldn’t be in this God awful mess today.
I don’t know, I tell him with a shrug and then a grin,
sounds like you all should have played dodgeball
together, you know, maybe boys against girls, get used
to dodging all the shit you’ll throw at each other
when you grow up. Yeah, that’s it, he says almost smiling
and tapping his empty glass softly on the tabletop,
we should have done that while we were still too young
to really start hurting each other.

Kiss Photography By David J. Thompson


  1. I don't understand why there seem to be no comments on this and other pieces by David J. Thompson. This is great shit. Oh yeah. I forgot. Most people don't read stuff unless Time Magazine tell 'em to. I doubt these lines and photographs -- appropriately juxtaposed -- will ever be endorsed by Time magazine. Which of course speaks volumes about their actual worth. Kudos to David J. Thompson.