bonzo bashing the alphabet

i was always anxious
as a kid
so i was always
tapping on the table
w/ both forefingers
my father would scream
“stop that fucking tapping or
i’m gonna break yr goddamn fingers”
i tried to stop but it would
automatically start again
sometimes in response
he’d bang his big fist
on the table
and plates would jump
or glasses would tip
“can’t i have some
fucking peace,“ he’d yell
not knowing he was the biggest
cause of lack of peace
one day i took the bus
w/ a friend and we went to a
music store
where i bought a pair
of drum sticks
i didn’t have drums
but i’d pound
make believe drums
on my old third-hand mattress
w/ springs sticking out
i’d beat the hell out of the mattress
as music blasted from my speakers
i loved drumming to led zeppelin
i had zeppelin 2 and physical graffiti albums
and i’d pretend i was bonzo
i would do that for hours until
i was sweating and dizzy
even tho i still found myself tapping
w/ my fingers
but the drum sticks
relieved a lot of the anxiety and panic, etc
later it was the typewriter keys
that i pounded and bashed
my father is dust now but his knuckles
and screams
still ricochet off the walls
of my inner skull
along w/ other accumulated shit
and it helps like hell being bonzo
at the poetry machine

Rob Plath is a writer from New York. He is most known for his monster collection A BELLYFUL OF ANARCHY (Epic Rites Press 2009). His newest collection is MY SOUL IS A BROKEN DOWN VALISE (Epic Rites Press 2019). You can see more of his work at Read other articles by Rob.