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, contrary to popular belief, is not yet under the jurisdiction of the worms. His latest book of poems Batter the Keyboard Like a Raptor Is Behind Yr Back is available from Laughing Ronin Press. See more of his work at: Read other articles by Rob.