October 25, 2006

Poem: "Confession"


The police bring me in for questioning,

so I won’t be leaving this lockdown alive.

You see, it went this way. The old man came

into my grandfather’s shop, and I ignored him

when he sat on the barrels of mackerel,

the air heavy with cheese and salt.

“You’re too young to remember,

but I going tell you about a Jamaica

that never existed, yet I was there.

A place where man and man lived

side by side, yet hated each other;

where you could poke seeds

in the ground and in two-twos,

there would be trees with the sweetest fruit,

yet people were hungry; a place of fresh water

streams, springs bubbling out of the ever

giving earth, yet people were thirsty;

a time and a place of pastries and puddings

and every earthly delight, yet people

had no joy.” That’s when I told him to stop,

but he wouldn’t. "All who can’t hear must feel,”

is what my father always said.

“Why you torturing me with these fantasies?”

“Because you must know.”

That’s when I hit the bugger. I beat him.

I beat him and I beat him until he was cold,

so he wouldn’t tell anymore lies. And on my life,

Officer, every word I tell you is true.

I didn't want to weigh the blog down with any more information, so added a photostream of the Caribbean authors who will be appearing at this year's Miami Book Fair International on my old trusty website with the new and improved book store .


Anonymous said...

I laughed my head off with joy. It's a brilliant rendition, and procured me the same contentment as the one I get reading good Frost. Sort of, conversational and funny and tragic all at once. And local, on top of it. A converfuntraloc piece. Good job.

Stephen A. Bess said...

This was a good story. I really like how it starts off and the reaction to the babbling old man was not expected.
I wish that I could make it down to the book fair. That's my kind of leisure time. Plus, I would shake hands with Mr. Philp. :)

Professor Zero said...

Excellent poem!!!

Geoffrey Philp said...

Thanks for the compliment. I guess those days of teaching "Home Burial" paid off.

everything will happen in due course. Sooner or later, you will come down here or I will make it do DC.
So Jah Seh

Professor Zero,
Give thanks!

Blessings, my brothers

Anonymous said...

I was precisely thinking of "Home Burial."

EYWA said...

I enjoy reading this poem. It's dramaric lyric, right? I'm just a teenager who starts reading world literature. But i still wonder if the old man relates to the narrator or not. The narrator's origin is Jamaican, right? But he becomes like a mimic man. So he doesn't want to hear the story from the old man. is that called "diaspora"?
Thank you in advance for who answer my questions. :)