Poem: Manly

I have no idea what it means

To really be a man

But if I can come up with some half-good

Answers for all my questions

I’d be halfway to the moon by now

And I guess I ain’t going soon

Because I don’t know anything

 

When I was ten I knew

What being a man was all about

You wore cowboy hats and drove a motorcycle

Or rode a horse in foreboding sunglasses

Or tats of naked women straddling eagles

Or snakes or dragons

And did whatever it takes to keep hold of your dignity

That sort of manliness is something I lack

I certainly don’t look like a buff, bearded lumberjack

 

But these days that idea of masculinity

Holds all the necessity of a bullet in my head

Which mind you, I don’t think I need

So I plead with you, know

That it’s not always men who go into fights

Who are manly

But instead the ones who spend their nights

At home with their families

Working two jobs just to have enough to send his little girl

To college one day

That place he never got to go

Because he’d throw a punch

Every single time his honor was questioned

But now he forgets about that

And instead says “I love you”

Every single chance he can

Because he knows now what it means

To be a man

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About derekberry

Derek Berry co-hosts and organizes Charleston youth-centered poetry movement The UnSpoken Word which features a variety of upcoming and established slam poets in various Charleston venues. The UnSpoken Word attempts to give voice to a variety of experiences and implement art to enact changes in coalition local activist movements, most notably the queer community. He also performs in venues and competes in slams across the US. He is a spoken word poet, a photographer's assistant, and a Political Science student at the College of Charleston. He worked as a journalist and columnist for Verge magazine for two years based out of Augusta, GA. He was the first winner of the 827's Holy City Slam. Derek recently published his first chapbook Skinny Dipping with Strangers and released his first spoken word album Perfect Nights, produced by Smohn Jith Studios. The publication of his novel Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County is also forthcoming through PRA Publishing. Derek Berry has absolutely no clue what he might do with his life, but he's going to make a damn difference.

Posted on November 10, 2011, in Bodily Hair, Childhood, Controversy, Cowboys, Poems, Poetry, Word Salad, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Haha ! This is actually quite humorous. Good job ! :D

  2. Derek, you’re such a clever poet, and don’t I know it.

    I really like the message in this poem and the way you deliver it is nothing short of brilliant. :)

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