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Curated by Deirdre Kessler

Things My Buddy Said

Oh, brother, growing up I’d get into trouble
like you wouldn’t believe. Like you never seen.
One time I got out of the car. I was 15, 16

and I was with my father. It was hot, man.
A hot summer. We were at the grocery store,
in the parking lot and this guy cut us off

and I went over and hauled him out and just
hammered him. Got back in the car and my father,
he says, What the hell is wrong with you?

I liked acting and music. I worked and I boxed,
you know. The size of my hands, you wouldn’t believe.
Take Sinatra. He was the real deal. The poet laureate

of loneliness. Here, listen to this. I think you’ll really
get it. I think you’ll get a lot out of it. Heartbreak, man.
You’ll get over that broad. Just listen to the words.

Hey, you see these shoes? You like them?
I got ’em off a drug dealer. Really. Don’t know
what he laced ’em with but I been tripping all day.

—Chris Bailey, What Your Hands Have Done, (Nightwood Editions, 2018). 

PEI poet laureate Deirdre Kessler selects a poem a month by an Island poet for readers of The Buzz.

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