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Thursday, January 28, 2010


by Earl J. Wilcox
J. D. Salinger, 1919-2010

Dear Phoebe,

You don’t want to know all the ways
I’ve tried, so I have got to tell you, Phebes,
What a sorry sack of shit I am.
After all these years I’ve not been able
To rub out all the fucks on all the walls in the world.

God knows, I’ve tried. Graffiti painters
Rappers, comedians, politicians, poets,
Even Presidents and would be kings
Keep saying fuck like it was a secret
Code or something. You and I know
They’re being lazy. It’s got so bad
I just don’t want to talk about it any more.

See you in the funny papers,


Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.