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  • Jimmy Broccoli

The Television Screen Displays Snow

Sometimes a boy’s anger can only be expressed as violence –

Violence against himself – violence against others –

He blew the goat’s head off because it had gone mad – gone crazy –

the goat had started to kill the other goats –

he blew it’s head off with a gun – a shotgun –

it died – and I watched it happen (after I distracted the goat, so it could be killed) –

city boys aren’t supposed to see goats being killed –

it is not within the formula of living in a city

She asks me to kiss her – and I told her I would

It’s not only goats that go insane

Nail in the horseshoe as if it were natural –

I won’t hold the horse – you hold the horse as you nail it –

I don’t even know why horses need shoes -

She asks me to unbutton her shirt – and I told her I would

We ride the horses with their horseshoes –

and I do not like it –

there is a reason I am how I am –

and I do not shoot goats or shoot horses

– I just don’t –

I nervously pluck the blades of grass (as she sits in front of me) –

because I’m nervous

– nervous to give her the necklace I bought for her

It is inexpensive and kind of cheap-looking – and it’s heart-shaped –

…it is what I can afford –

She asks me to caress her in an adult and romantic manner – and I told her I would

- sometimes a boy’s anger can only be expressed as violence

but I don’t kill goats –

I just don’t –

Her perfume shares obvious hints of leather and of sometimes delicate autumn pears –

I drink it all in like it’s a fine wine – like I’m in France at some café – and it is fancy with pressed and neatly laid out white tablecloths and silverware that isn’t plastic or inexpensive metal -

Her perfume is like that

she thanks me for the necklace (it hangs down from her neck and it swings gently and back-and-forth in the country breeze), and I blush and take her hand in mine

She asks me to enter her – and I told her I would

I don’t kill goats –

Her hair falls upon my chest from above, like raindrops on asphalt –

Like soft kisses upon tight skin on a hot summer’s afternoon –

Like white canvas pleasantly violated by liquid blue –

Like a string of similes that never seem to end…

her hair is like that (is this how a poet would describe it?)

Sometimes a violent boy is violent because he has no choice to be anything other than what he is –

…time skipping forward – time skipping forward -

…I’m not describing me here – did you think I was?

He (my male friend) sees us lying together in the field –

the open field near the tractor and barn –

- with the cows a short distance away, paying us no mind -

the field is littered with daisies – littered with physical new discoveries -

he kills goats (my male friend) – and I can’t say I approve

She asks me to be rough – to not hold back – and I told her I would

I won’t kill horses or goats –

I just won’t – and I will look away – or disappear – or disintegrate – or collapse or faint – anything but the alternative –

anything but the alternative

Sometimes a violent boy is violent because he has no choice to be anything other than what he is –

but you’ve heard this before – you’ve heard this before –

the needle on the record is skipping – yet its rhythmic predictability is soothing –

new knowledge and happenings require attention and effort –

sometimes a repeated disco beat or a skipping record is relaxing –

you know what happens next

The campfire before us glows kind of like light-sticks do - and her head is on my shoulder –

and I like it –

- he (my male friend) looks at me from across the campfire – and I know what he has done –

I know what he has done – I know what he is – and I know what he represents

Beneath the brilliant and twinkling stars – as if they are performing for us –

we walk into the almost pitch-black evening among the tall grass blades and the cicadas, the campfire resting until our return –

The insects present us a symphony – and we listen without judgement –

with a sense of merriment and childlike (almost boyish) wonder –

they are performing for us –

and her perfume lingers around us – autumnal hints of oranges mixed with musk oil and wood shavings –

like from a woodworking class in high school

I don’t kill goats –

Sometimes a violent boy is violent because he has no choice to be anything other than what he is –

(my male friend) -

violence won’t leave him alone –

like a car accident memory that plays and replays non-stop –

like a punch from his father () as a boy he cannot help but repeat as a man -

again – like similes that just won’t quit

She kisses me like I’ve never been kissed before –

he (my male friend) sits across the field (not too far off) and watches –

and I know he is watching –

goats rarely kill themselves – and I know this to be fact

I physically embrace the butterflies – they hide my mind from the rising sun that I do not yet know will be for me as the timeline moves in multiple directions as it always does

Will I lose myself? Will I no longer be as I understand?


It’s morning and I wake to a hand within mine – fingers interlocked –

like a commitment or like a new beginning –

or like when things similar to fingers interlock with the same or similar objects happen -

it’s like that –

the TV snow grows more vicious, and I no longer see human shapes or shadows –

it’s TV snow, but the snow is of an opposite color than what was expected

And I don’t kill goats –

and he promises me he won’t again (and I believe him) –

and, this morning, her hair smells like blueberries –

blueberries (with spicy vanilla notes) accompanying stuttering beginning-day coffee very well –

No, no, no – this isn’t how it happened – this isn’t how it happened –

this is not how it is happening…

the end TV show credits are scrolling backwards – up the screen –

the plot has been confused and the audience isn’t understanding –

it’s worse and less straight-forward than television snow


the goats are not dying, and I realize it was his fingers interlocked within mine –

it was his fingers all along (or was it?) – and the townspeople never knew –

she vanishes because she never existed (a story I tell over and over with various endings) –

his hair and skin, kiss, and embrace smell like sunshine – like brilliant rays upon a light-starved landscape and I open my eyes wide to embrace the radiance and the brilliance and the enthusiastic celebration of living and of love

Yes! - and of love

it’s been him all along – and the goats are safe –

and so am I

- and so am I

and so, am I?

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli with Neigh Neigh, the Horse on a Stick.

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