Jon Tobias, later, he won’t be…The Trophy room

You have been warned!

Jon has every intention AND every likelihood of making his living as a poet and writer. A novelist, I suspect. Jon was a previous winner of one of our contests (“I’m all shook up” prompted by 800 Elvis recordings) Here, he enters the diving bell of poetry to reveal what’s beneath the surface.

The Trophy Room

by Jon Tobias

I lay bear-traps for my memories

 

It’s watching the image of me

squeezing my head between

the couch cushion and

the pillow of your ribcage

 

The smell of your back

and softness of your belly

against the inside of my arm

 

That image is trying to chew its own

leg off

because I couldn’t coax it to stay

 

People come over to my house and say

“That is a nice photo of you and so-and-so”

 

And I say

“It took forever to pick the shrapnel out

before I could frame it”

 

I’m not in a lot of pictures

Nor do I have many pictures of you

 

But there is a pitfall made of blankets

somewhere

holding the night we first had sex

 

The truth is

My father doesn’t know my name most days

 

It runs in the family

 

Are these poems or

post it notes

for when I forget that I love you

 

Ask me about the matte finish heads

mounted on the walls

And I will tell you

Or I will make something up

 

These poems are bolas

and bear-pens

holding softness

that mumbles and sleeps

on my shoulder most nights

before I move it and go to my

side of the couch

 

In the back room

there is a cage full of kisses

lips all saying the names

you use when you are happy to see me

Beeboo

Babbeh

Handsome man

 

I am embarrassed to share this now

But later I won’t be

 

14 comments

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Jon, this is exceptional. The depth of field you use to bring everything into focus, as I trundle down the life of a hapless soul, is the anchor needed to take me to the end. Shameless, open, and honest are tools you use from your treasure chest of talent.
    I’m asking about the matte finish heads the character wants me to ask about …

    • Jon Tobias says:

      Thank Michael. I think that would come out in another long series of poems. Maybe for future contests. We will see.

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    The images you write are swirling in my head. Your words carried me through emotions that beneath the surface are intense. So well crafted Jon, so rich in the layers you create. Another side that you have revealed and I like it.

    • Jon Tobias says:

      Thanks. I mainly write poetry and I was so happy to see a contest that specifically suggested it be entered. I am glad you approve.

    • Jon Tobias says:

      Thank you. I really like the way certain words sound together when trying to create images. They don’t always make sense, but I get lucky now and then.

  3. Tiffany V says:

    This deconstructed view of memories and responses to their arrivals and departures. I am so honored by the growth of the writers here. Every time I read a post, I see growth in the regular writers and I am inspired to improve. This is another example of top-notch presentation.

    • Jon Tobias says:

      I think once you start putting your work up against so much talent you have no choice but to improve. I am thankful for such diversity, and no doubt, that diversity will continue to grow along with us. I am glad you consider my work something that inspires you to be better too. Thank you.

  4. Stef
    Stef says:

    When I was 7, I wished on a star that I could live that whole year over again. It was the first time I encountered the transience of time (though I wouldn’t have known it put it like that). Kisses in cages. You are going to make it as a poet <3

  5. Parisianne Modert says:

    Memories can be like picnic baskets Boo Boo. How so Yogi? Sometimes they have goodies and other times a bear trap in the snout. At other times, you know they are out there, but Ranger Smith is on guard, so you never find out what you can’t imagine. I’m confused Yogi. Read the poem Boo Boo, read the poem. “A cage of kisses”? Yogi. What would Cindy say? That Jon is smarter than the average bear of course.

  6. Shawna says:

    This is so tender and real, a wandering of the heart and mind down the path of mundane to the corner of truth and vulnerability. Gave the that lump-in-throat chill I always contract when reading the poignant truth.
    Brave and lively:)

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