Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Phoebe

Dear Phoebe

Sorry I messed up
Too bad being a failure
isn't a real job
I think I have a knack for it

I know I said
I wouldn't go away
Sorry I missed your play
I bet you were a great
Benedict Arnold

I'm feeling much better
most of the time now
Maybe Mom and Dad will bring you
to see me soon
I guess I'll have to ask my doctor
if it would help my recovery
(God, that kills me)

The people here
are pretty nice
and not so phony
Some of them are pretty fucked messed up
but they're okay
I think you'd like them

I've been thinking
about Allie a lot

I want you to know
that next Fall I'm going to a new school
and I'm going to try
to apply myself
(like the psychoanalyst keeps asking me)
Maybe this time
it will be better
not so many phonies and mean guys
not such a stinking school

Don't forget
to brush your teeth
Lousy teeth shouldn't matter to people
but they do

Even though you're just a kid, Phoebe
I know you understand
I couldn't stay where I was
I had to leave

I'm sorry I made you cry
and that I took your Christmas money
and that the record I bought for you broke

Your brother

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Epistle, Letter from Holden Caulfield to his sister Phoebe from Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh, yes! Superb choice of characters. You have captured something of the bitter-sweetness of Holden's character and his relationship with Phoebe. Just a wonderful response to the prompt.

Brian Miller said...

this was fairly real for me having just read a letter from a mom that was commited...she sent it to her son who is 5 and will get it on his 18th birthday

Fireblossom said...

I, too, love the choice you made, of Holden Caulfield. And to have him write to Phoebe. Wonderful.

Heaven said...

Very lovely response to the prompt...dry sense of humor but I can sense the love of the sibling...enjoyed this share ~

shawnacy said...

holden-channeling used to be one a party trick of mine... of sorts.
this puts that wildly to shame.
excellent job with the prompt!

darev2005 said...

And then for some strange reason I went back and read it again in Mel Gibson's voice and it was even better. That movie has him and Catcher permanently linked in my mind now, even if he never played Holden. Silly, I know.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wonderful, Lolamouse! What a cool idea, a letter from Holden to Phoebe. And I would love to read the letter from the mother to her five year old son, I'll bet it would rip my heart out. Great response to the prompt, kiddo. I love the brotherly tone you so effectively achieve.

Bryan M. White said...

I love it! I recognized the Catcher in the Rye angle about a quarter of the way through. At first I was like, "Benedict Arnold? Why does that sound so familiar?", and then the details kept piling up.

Mary said...

Beautifully done. Took me back to my teen-aged "Catcher in the Rye" days. Your poem read so true!

Since I am so late accepting Kerry's challenge, I will share my link here, in the hopes you will come to visit....

Stunning work! The letter makes me feel SO warm on this chilly winter night.

As I am late accepting this challenge, I am going to share my link here, hoping you'll visit:


Kay L. Davies said...

Fabulous. I think you have caught the voice of the writer and the identity of the reader perfectly. I love it. It's been a long time since I thought about Salinger.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Doctor FTSE said...

Your post refreshed my memories of the book that became almost a cult. Thank you

Pat Tillett said...

Loved the book and loved reading this here!