Monday, August 20, 2007

Frankie's Poems

Frankie just read me some poems. Actually he said they were songs and so he read them with a sort of tuneless melody.

They are dark. Filled with pain and thoughts of death. I know some of it is typical teenage stuff. I read that the reports from the people at the center who thought that he wrote some of it, and the disturbing illustrations that went with them, in order to keep a distance between him and his peers.

Still, there is such pain in them. And his reading of them was so casual -- like any other child showing me a series of pictures he had made. "This one is a house. This is a monkey in a tree. That's me killing. That is me dead."

Carl would write bad dark poetry and he would give it to me. It did not grab in the same way. I guess because he wanted it to grab me. He would smile when he gave it to me, and ask me if I thought it was good. I responded to it as a teacher. "Well, there is a lot of pain here, Carl, but that is all there is. It sounds a little self-pitying. I think that if you let more complexity of emotion in it would be better."

But Frankie's are so raw. Tossed down to me casually. "Here. Look at my pain. Which one is your favorite?"

I asked him if he still felt so sad. He said no, that the best part of the poems was that he now felt so much better. But he does not want to talk about it. He tossed me these pieces of his soul, asked me to choose my favorite, and then went to play video games.


  1. Sometimes just putting it out there is enough, you know? I don't think I'd want to talk about it right away, either. Just sharing is hard enough, without feeling like you have to defend/explain. If he wants you to know more, he'll tell you, I'm guessing.

    It is so strange -- lately everyone's teenagers seem to be going through the same sort of stuff I went through and still have trouble with sometimes. Even right now, it seems like those times are just barely behind me.

  2. I remember writing poems like this in high school. With everything that had happened to me and my trying to figure out life, poetry was a great outlet. Just writing it down seemed to help, I look back now and think of how much easier it was to write.

    I think his poems are beautiful, moving and have a genuine voice. I'm glad to hear that he some of the hurt is healing.


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.