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Avoiding Bob

He wears a tattooed wedding band
speaks loudly, (his eyebrows peaking),
slaps you on the back before
the punch line
and makes people scatter
like dry rice
on a countertop.
Bob lacks dinner plans
on long, lonely weekends.
He spends evenings watching Frasier
with his cat
and returns to work on Mondays-
his mouth an unremitting
car alarm in the office,
magnified by metal file cabinets
and cardboard cubicles.
I never understood why Bob
lived to join in
and at what age
his personality became compensatory;
until I heard that his young daughter
and her twin sons
burned down with the trailer
behind his barn
while Bob slept,
two years ago,
unaware that he would wake
an angry man.

7 Jun 07

Rated 8 (8) by 7 users.
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this is fantastic. i'm glad to be the first to read. comment, rather.

very human. very psychological. my kind of read.

whoever wrote this is a very intelligent person.
 — OKcomputer

I really like the effect. How you create a callous almost cartoonish creature and make them sympathetic and real in the last few lines.

only suggestion would be to remove the word two before twins, only because it seems little redundant. other than that, I got nothin. This is very good.
 — SteelAngel

I liked everything until I got to "Unknowing". That just seems awkward. I think you could come up with a better way to phrase the closing.

Otherwise, nice work!
 — rocket

Thank you for the comments. I don't know about very intelligent--, maybe sarcastic with a good (dark) sense of humor? The "two twins" was a typo; thanks for pointing it out. And yes, I agree "unknowing" is awkward and the ending could use some adjusting. Thanks again.
 — JD

I agree with OK, this is fantastic.
 — 1994

maybe unaware rather than unknowing? i also doubt that Bob's young daughter and twin sons burned down, rather they burned to death and the trailer burned down if you see what i mean? i don't see the importance of specifying their location behind his barn. oth3r comments, i prefer the past tense of peak and alarm. i don't care for the repetition of alarm (3) and alarm (15). fog horn might be apt for his voice instead, ties in with the anger later. the lack of periods is annoying at first. otherwise, what did he live to join in? i find this statement a little lacklustre.
 — unknown

I know Bob, I think every office has a Bob.

I think line 22 needs the word "that" before his young daughter, otherwise you think his daughter said something.

Need comma after 'ago' in line 27.

Uknowing?  He was unaware, perhaps?  Not knowing that he would wake...that makes more grammatical sense than unknowing, maybe.

Insight into a person's personality, nicely explained.
 — Isabelle5

This is so Human it's Divine! Tolerance is never having to say sorry I judged you ...
Nicely done!
 — AlchemiA

thanks for the helpful comments- I'm working on line 18

thank you for the suggestions. "unaware" was what I was looking for; think I was having brain fog towards the end (I owe you $5 for the word)

thanks for reading, everyone
 — JD

This is very good. There is nothing else to say.
 — blee73

The one you really should be avoiding is the devil! He is pure evil and leads to bad poetry. Stay away from him. 6/10
 — Henry

The devil DOES lead to bad poetry, Henry. I appreciate the very helpful comment.
 — JD