Poem: Sob Stories

Sometimes, I feel my soul forgets its immortality

and I try pouring concrete into my chest to make myself whole again.

I’m afraid my veins will abandon me, that I’ll stop seeking the stars,

that I might stop wondering how many licks it will take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.


My bells must forgive their clappers,

and my trees allow mushrooms to feed on their decay.

Sometimes, I stick out like King Kong clinging to the Empire.

I burn like an angel on fire.


I could snowball similes until they’re sluiced with slush

Or I could mix metaphors mighty as meteorites missing the Earth by a minute margin

I could sandcastle stanzas and repeat a relentless rhyme

But poetry perpetuates only half of the heliocentric equation

Like we’re missing the bigger picture.


My life ain’t just a house to tear down

Give me the hatchet, I’ll cut off all the things holding me down

I’ll strip my walls and paint murals on them with my fingers.

I’ll try wearing my heart around my neck, so I don’t forget it’s there

or that my veins know me better than a lover’s touch.


I don’t tell sob stories, just stories. Sometimes, I can’t tell the difference.


About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on February 27, 2013, in books, culture, Poems, Poetry, writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I love the pouring concrete line! It’s beautiful. This is a really fascinating poem. What a wonderful read.

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