the wax paper

Grease Poet

Carl the mechanic

was the first poet

I ever met—

livin' at home

takin' a few classes

at the local CC

I think us younger guys

in the neighborhood

kinda looked up to him

because he was sort

of a regular guy

but when he

came out cryin' one day

and showed us his

first publication

he sniffed that he'd

tried to show

his old man

what he'd done

and all the old drunk

could do was laugh

and drip snot

all over the pages

Carl said this was typical

of how people

treated poets

which was why I knew

I'd never be one

so I asked Carl

to pop the hood

of the Charger

and show me

the spark plugs

or something.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.