from the book of quotations

little phrases just stick
with you like–
if you want something
to cry about
I will give you something…

after too many years
I never answer
rhetorical questions
I still see him
standing over me
like I was stupid
enough to say
fuck yeah I want
something…

it is not hard to discover
something to cry about
I have been
fairly successful
finding it on my own

but do you think
if he would have said
if you want something
to smile about
I’ll give you something…
it would have been
different?

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8 Responses to from the book of quotations

  1. blahgblahg says:

    I got that one all the time. I would have been a spoiled brat had I been praised or raised positively. (sarcasm here) Regardless of my abusive father, I am what I am because of him and because of many other people and other input. I spent many years wishing I had a better childhood, wondering what I would be like if I had, and finally accepting my life for just what it is, my life. It could have been worse. There’s a quotation for you.

  2. blahgblahg says:

    I hope you don’t mind if I follow up with what I just said. I remember one thing dear daddy used to always say mid-beating…”I’m doing this because I love you.” I could have followed that with something ingenious like, “Gee, I’d hate to see what you’d do if you despised me.” Instead, once I followed with “Bullshit!” knowing it may possibly end in my death. He screamed, “What did you SAY? If you say that to me again, I’ll put your head through the wall” My sister screamed, “Don’t say it, please don’t.” I said calmly, “bullshit”. He then literally put my head through the nearest wall. The best pain I ever had, because it was controlled by ME.

  3. captures that particular type of relationship very well. I like the way the poem moves to its conclusion

  4. johemmant says:

    I can’t imagine treating my children this way. Where does that impulse come from? Sorry.

  5. Vincent says:

    In this, as indeed in other ways, you are blood brothers with Hank Bukowski.

  6. nathan1313 says:

    There’s so much truth here. That’s what makes a great poem.

  7. Julie says:

    Hey, Scot! It’s so good to see all that you’re writing. I’m gone for a couple of days, and you are posting left and right. That’s awesome.

    I love it, of course. I don’t think I’ve ever read one of yours that I haven’t loved. Unfortunately, my father said the “give you something to cry about” thing, too. I guess it was that old school father love stuff. He also had a Rockefeller one…”Do I look like Rockefeller?” Oh yeah, Daddy-O. We thought you were Rockefeller and this was the mansion. HA! Of course, we didn’t say it to his face. Sorry to blab so much. I love the third stanza, too. I’m right there.

  8. Holly D says:

    Oh wow Scot. I know a lot of people who have had parents like this…
    this hits home in that sense…
    I love the straightforward voice in this…so REAL

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