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378: Boot Theory

"Boot Theory"
Richard Siken

A man walks into a bar and says:
                                                Take my wife–please.
                                                                                    So you do.
            You take her out into the rain and you fall in love with her
                                                and she leaves you and you’re desolate.
You’re on your back in your undershirt, a broken man
                        on an ugly bedspread, staring at the water stains
                                                                                                on the ceiling.
                  And you can hear the man in the apartment above you
                                    taking off his shoes.
You hear the first boot hit the floor and you’re looking up,
                                                                                    you’re waiting
            because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be
                        some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together
                  but here we are in the weeds again,
                                                                                         here we are
in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn’t make sense.
                        And then the second boot falls.
                                                            And then a third, a fourth, a fifth.

            A man walks into a bar and says:
                                                Take my wife–please.
                                                                        But you take him instead.
You take him home, and you make him a cheese sandwich,
            and you try to get his shoes off, but he kicks you
                                                                              and he keeps kicking you.
            You swallow a bottle of sleeping pills but they don’t work.
                        Boots continue to fall to the floor
                                                                        in the apartment above you.
You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened.
            Your co-workers ask
                                    if everything’s okay and you tell them
                                                                                    you’re just tired.
            And you’re trying to smile. And they’re trying to smile.

A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says:
                                    Make it a double.
            A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says:
                                                                                 Walk a mile in my shoes.
A man walks into a convenience store, still you, saying:
                                    I only wanted something simple, something generic…
            But the clerk tells you to buy something or get out.
A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river
                        but then he’s still left
with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away
                                                      but then he’s still left with his hands.





I promise I'll get the hang of it sometime before the end of the week.
M, substituting for K

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
andnightsgrow
Dec. 30th, 2008 07:37 am (UTC)
You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened.
Your co-workers ask
if everything's okay and you tell them
you're just tired.
And you're trying to smile. And they're trying to smile.


jesus christ, ouch.
plotbunniofdoom
Dec. 30th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this, very powerful.
telnaf
Dec. 30th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
This is...just wow.
Thank you for posting
hystericalhaze
Dec. 30th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
this is just, for the lack of a better word, ouch. it is a very powerful poem, though.
chaosbydesign
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
I didn't really understand the meaning of most of it... but the last few lines really spoke to me.

"A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river
but then he's still left
with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away
but then he's still left with his hands."

Hmm...
leanne_stott
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Fantastic. Crafted connections-'walk a mile in my shoes'-make this beautifully simple, beautifully powerful.
maetang
Dec. 30th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I like this very much. It's very powerful.

Thanks for posting the poems. They're a little highlight of my day.
scratchmist
Dec. 30th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad this poem still works even if it's left-aligned, because the actual piece is actually heavily indented. Siken is awesome. His poems always leave me with heartache.
amnotcute
Dec. 30th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
I like this.
tangled_kisses
Dec. 31st, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
i love richard siken.
michaeleen
Dec. 31st, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
For me, this is weird, but it makes much more sense, different sense, once you put in the correct indentation.
Love it.
cats_are_gray
Dec. 31st, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
thank you so much for this journal!
__vanillaskies
Dec. 31st, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
i'm not grasping the details, but the body of this poem leaves me feeling forlorn.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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