Two Poems by Scott Owens

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Sir (or Madam),
The life that you sent me doesn’t work.
I’m returning it herein
and expect a full refund.
Please find enclosed the following:
One clueless mom;
she tries but really can’t manage
(perhaps future models
should come with fewer children
and greater self-esteem);
Three men who want to be called
Daddy but don’t deserve the title
(please note the cowardice,
drunkenness, rage and stupidity
they bear were not of my doing);
One tattered file of memories
undoubtedly inaccurate and incomplete;
One crummy job after another;
One string of failed relationships,
all my fault;
One disappointing body wracked
with pain, guilt, confusion;
One shattered set of ideals;
An indeterminate number
of vague promises, uncertain
answers; One bag of dreams,
empty but unfulfilled.


Just What the Hell Is

black and white? I mean
Billy Mays is dead and still
trying to sell me armbands
that hold nails and hammer,
Jupiter Jack, Awesome
Auger, Instant Scratch
Remover, I mean we
celebrate Christopher Columbus
because he discovered
a continent already populated
by millions and then  tried
to kill, rape, convert, enslave
those millions, I mean
what part of Christian theology
isn’t prefigured
by stories from other religions
condemned by Christian theology
because their stories weren’t
Christian, I mean is everything
as arbitrary as one-fourth
human, one-eighth black,
one-sixteenth native-American,
and I had a student once
who claimed pure blood
because she was descended
from the von Trapp family,
I mean am I the only one
who remembers
that Maria was an orphan?

Do me a favor,
if you’re not comfortable
with the definition of river
being constantly changing
molecules of water roughly
bordered by eroding banks,
the pull of gravity,
and the saturation point
of muddy soil, then just
shut the hell up!

9 Responses to “Two Poems by Scott Owens”

  1. you just made my day

  2. I’m always glad to read Scott Owens’ poems. A real treat. Good ones, Scott.

  3. Tim Peeler Says:

    rage, rage against, well, whatever they’ve got.

  4. Beam me up, Scotty! As usual, nice stuff. Good to see you’re still fighting the poetry battle. Now I’m going to just shut the heck up. 🙂

  5. Alarie Tennille Says:

    I adore “To Whom It May Concern.” Scott Owens makes a great many readers stop and count their blessings with this poem. And I think it would be a great workshop assignment to write a want ad to sell one’s (or some else’s) life.

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone. It is great to be read and to feel like people can connect with what you’re saying. Scot does a great job with the Truck. I never get tired of reading what he publishes here.

  7. O, what magnificient, heartbreaking, down to the marrow poetry you write, Scott Owens!

  8. Two interesting poems. One really touched me.

    “To Whom It May Concern”

    Great poem for the choir.

    Can easily relate to what the words say but not the forced sentiment, blame and hopelessness.

    Can easily guess the political and amoral views that drove the poem. Suggest a good paying public service job dominated by young people would be the best way grantee you are in good company and remain antagonistic to your self.

  9. Maren O. Mitchell Says:

    Scott, delighted to stumble across 2 of your poems i’ve not read. Love the idea of returning an unsatisfactory life! Maren

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