“Street Moths,” by X.J. Kennedy, from The Lords of Misrule (Johns Hopkins University Press). If you haven’t read any X.J. Kennedy, you’re missing a treat. He writes for adults and children, check out the links!
The Poetry Princesses are a group of poets – and me – who are writing sonnets of young adulthood. Though this isn’t a sonnet, it reminded me of a long play version We Real Cool and adds to the slowly growing pile of poetry I’ve found that records the adolescent masculine experience. I really like the imagery of blundering moths… so appropriate.
Mature enough to smoke but not to drink,
Grown boys at night before the games arcade
Wearing tattoos that wash off in the sink
Accelerate vain efforts to get laid.
Parading in formation past them, short
Skirts and tight jeans pretending not to see
This pack of starving wolves who pay them court
Turn noses up at cries of agony—
Baby, let’s do it! Each suggestion falls
Dead to the gutter to be swept aside
Like some presumptuous bug that hits brick walls,
Rating a mere Get lost and death-ray eyes.
Still, they keep launching blundering campaigns,
Trying their wings once more in hopeless flight:
Blind moths against the wires of window screens.
Anything. Anything for a fix of light.
Poetry Friday is hosted at Farm School.