Skip to main content

Pt. 2 young writer, would love advice/review!! (CH.1)

After a good, long run, we have decided to close our forums in an effort to refocus attention to other sections of the site. Fortunately for you all, we're living in a time where discussion of a favorite topic now has a lot of homes. So we encourage you all to bring your ravenous love for discussion to Chuck's official Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. And, as always, you can still post comments on all News updates. Thank you for your loyalty and passion over the years. These changes will happen June 1.


 1 – Suit Jacket

About three or four weeks after I was born
my mom was gone.
She didn't die,
she never left,
she was just


My father was a junkie/alcoholic for as long
as I can remember.
Every night there was a different
cheap perfume
that walked through the kitchen
to the bedroom

at around 12:30 a.m.

and from the bedroom
through the kitchen

around 3:30 a.m.

If ever I happened to walk
through the house
to get a glass of water
during these hours,
I would be spanked until the
poured from my eyes
and the
leaked through my pants and
down my leg
to the floor.
I would then have to clean it up,
the perfume stinging my leaking eyes,
the piss stinging my nose,
the belt stinging my back,
the screaming stinging my ears.

I learned to just hide in my room.

my room is where I spent most of my time.

If it was between the hours of

12:30 a.m.


3:30 a.m.,

I was hiding my ears beneath my pillow.

Any other time that I wasn't
or at school,

I was usually crying,

face down in my pillow.

Come to think of it,
my pillow protected me more than anything
or anyone
during my first five or so years.

It was my comfort,
catching the tears I cried every day
after school,
tears of fear of what he would do to me
when he got home.

It was my comfort,
jammed into my nostrils for a clean smell
when my bed was covered in piss
and shit
because he locked me into my room
for lying
about taking a cookie.

It was my comfort,
shielding me from his fists
when no perfume filled the house.

Oddly enough,
it was due to this day-to-day
and hell
that I grew to hate Barney.

In pre-school and kindergarten,
you have no sense of
faux pas,
no invisible knife at your throat
dictating what you should
and should not say.

So, when a black-and-blue piss
and shit
smelling boy walked into fucking
story time,
little kids generally didn't have enough
to not ask a few questions.

A few questions
which led
to a few answers
which led
to a few more questions
which led
to teeth gritting
which led
to a few more jeers
which led
to hands clenching
which led
to pointing
which led
to a fist being drawn back
which led

to a time out.

So, while the other kids
watched Barney,
I sat in the corner of an adjacent room,
listening to the muffled giggles
and sing-alongs
while I cried.

My habit of crying
did end pretty quickly,

Around the time that worms
and Power Rangers
were cool,

I began to get curious.

I asked my dad,

What happened
to mom?

She’s dead.


She’s dead.


You know,
her funeral is next week.

I cried under my pillow.

Throughout that week
and weekend
I did odd jobs.

Raking leaves for Mr. Peters

Washing Mrs. Lawrence’s cars.

If I were to see
my mom
for the first time,
I needed to look


The money I made wasn’t enough.

Do you have something
I could wear to
the funeral?


Mom’s funeral.
It’s today,

Oh, yeah.
Now fuck off.

There were already
dried tears
and wet handkerchiefs
by the time I got
to the church.
Jet black veils and
pressed suits
didn’t notice the boy with the
moldy, ratty suit jacket
sit in the pew
in the back.

She was a wonderful person,
they said.
She was loved by all.
She gave everything
she could
to everyone she met.

There were hiccups of grief
and muffled cries
every time she was referred to
as a pronoun.

Her casket was opened.

The pews began to empty as huddled masses
bent over the coffin,
hands outstretched,
voices low.
I sat and cried.
Nobody noticed
the boy with the
ratty suit jacket
in the last pew
when they shuffled past him
and out the church doors.

Nobody noticed
the boy
stand up
and walk to
the casket.

Nobody noticed
when he stumbled to the floor,
unable to control his tears,
at the front pew.

Nobody noticed
his body tremor
and his moans stop
when he outstretched his hand
toward the body
of a woman

who wasn’t his mother.

So, nobody noticed
when the boy
ripped off the suit jacket
and threw it in a ditch.

Nobody noticed
the boy wiping away
the last tears he’d ever cry.

Nobody noticed
that the boy
who sat in the last pew
in the back of the church
would never
be a boy