My No-Show Foes

I whet my blade, anticipating mayhem.
My enemies just whet their appetite
On what they hope my manager will pay them
For throwing down their knives without a fight.

I hone my wits in expectation of
A battle of the minds, but my opponents
Enumerate the many ways they love
My thought progressions, over joe and doughnuts.

We bruise and bleed alike, and we are always
Emoting, but our feelings travel down
Dissimilar predestined routes, down hallways
Of separate buildings in a border town.

My secret weapon is a cattle prod;
The stomach to employ it is another.
It doesn’t pay to run afoul of God,
Not even if you style yourself his brother,

As I have done.  Though God and I see eye-
To-eye on many issues, sometimes there’s
Too little nuts-and-bolts and too much sky.
If I don’t get to fight today, who cares?



Regarding Becky

The reason boys are born is to subserve
Alluring girls who truly rule the roost.
Those gifted lads adept at throwing curve
Balls, confident the lass will be seduced

By sleighty moves and give her body up
To belt-high heat, are rare exceptions—to
A point.  They too will drink the bitter cup
When held accountable for what they do.

It works like this:  The favors that you get,
The fun you thought was unencumbered sex,
Will later make you wish you’d never met
Her.  Yesterday I ran into my ex

And found that many strings were still attached.
That cloudy day when she and I first kissed,
I’d known already we were poorly matched,
But nonetheless pressed forward and dismissed

My scruples.  There’s a saying often heard
Yet seldom lived by:  Do ye unto others …
You know the rest.  Remember that the bird
You’ve flown with is the daughter of your druthers,

A harpy with a healthy appetite;
Eat crow if she turns out to be a lawyer
Who hates to lose.  On any given night,
Few men can hold a candle to Tom Sawyer.



C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden.  Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India.  His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.

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10 Responses

  1. Stephen Dickey

    I really like both of these, which I think are brilliant treatments of their themes, indeed the theme of the first is nothing I have seen before in poetry.

  2. Roy E. Peterson

    I am still musing over and amused by “My No-Show Foes.” Being from a border state, I have images of Clint Eastwood ready for a knife fight. “Regarding Becky” feels all too familiar. I met my ex twenty years later in a video deposition for court! As you always do, well done treatments of interesting subjects.

    • C.B. Anderson

      That’s peculiar, Roy. I’ve seen a lot of Clint Eastwood, and knives have never been his thing. Becky is, of course, the archetypical young maiden met during times of duress.

  3. Jeremiah Johnson

    Somehow, “My No-Show Foes” made me think of G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis – their true enjoyment of verbal sparring with both those of similar beliefs to their own and of dissimilar; their ability to be civil and even, on occasion, develop friendships with their opponents, something we can’t seem to do in contemporary western culture.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Yes, Jeremiah, and think of the Inklings, of which Lewis was an important member.

  4. Paul Freeman

    Using ‘opponents’ and ‘doughnuts’ as (half-)rhymes was a masterstroke.

    As for ‘belt-high heat’… what a great euphemism.

    Thanks for the reads.

  5. Joseph S. Salemi

    “…and give her body up
    To belt-high heat”

    What a great metaphor for sex!

    • C.B. Anderson

      And of course in baseball, Joseph, “belt-high heat” just means a fastball right down the middle.


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