Flirting with Ridicule
S. Craig Renfroe, Jr.

Main Street Rag, 2005
Editor's Choice Chapbook Series
Poetry, 44 pages $7


Introduction

 

Some readers may ask why have an introduction to poetry? To these people, I say: who asked you? Turn the page.
Now that they’re gone, and we’re alone, we can communicate calmly and rationally about what lies ahead. I love you, reader. God how I love you. Let’s elope. No? Are you sure? Maybe later.
Some poets don’t want to write an introduction because they fear it will destroy some of the mystery. For instance, knowing that I composed the sixth poem in my boxers while eating cheese doodles and carefully wiping my hands on a paper towel to not get the orange residue on my laptop keys, might in some small way, take the shine off the ars poetica. They might be right.
But I believe in you reader. I believe that your love for me will prevail, that you love me and have always loved me, though you may not have known it at the time. When you were lying in your bed late at night, listening to an early Frank Black record, sweating just a little, unable to sleep because you hadn’t found a poet that speaks to you. You were waiting to love me. My God, how you love the person who turned out to be me.

 

Love Poem #372

 

Let me compare you
to a pig. Not just any pig,
but a potbelly pig.

I once had a pot-
belly pig. It was so
smart it used to open
the pantry with its snout
and eat all the food.

It got very fat.
And I trained it
to lay down in
front of me
and let me prop
my feet up on it.
I called my pig
Ottoman.

You’re like that
potbelly pig.

I loved that pig
so very much.
When she would look
up at me with my
feet resting on her,
look at me with those
swollen eyes,
I knew someone
cared for me.

Ottoman got cancer,
and she lost a lot of
weight.
She had trouble
getting around in the end.
Her haunches stiff and
brittle.
I quit putting my feet
on her.
Ottoman died, skinny
and sad.
And when I think of her,
it hurts.

You, you are like
that pig.

 

What Do You Write About?

 

People
Relationships
People in bad relationships
People getting out of a bad relationship
New York
How a relationship went bad
People getting back into a bad relationship
New York
Loyal dogs
Loyal dogs turned rabid
People shooting rabid dogs
New York
People getting into a bad relationship with a dog
Kids with cancer
Kids whose parents are divorcing
Kids in New York
People getting into relationships with kids
Kids in bad relationships with people
Sick grandmothers
Sick grandmothers dying
New York
Sick grandmothers who take in loyal dogs
People who move from New York
to the country to fix their bad relationship
but who, when their loyal dog
goes rabid and kills their kids and
sick grandmother and they
have to shoot it,
move back to New York

 


S. Craig Renfroe, Jr. is also the author of the short story collection You Should Get That Looked At (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2004). Currently, he teaches at Queens University of Charlotte. He received his M.F.A. from UNC-Wilmington where he held a Philip Gerard Fellowship. His story “Tickle, Me?” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2003. His writing has appeared in Main Street Rag, The MacGuffin, One Paycheck Away, Iodine, Thrift, and others.