The University of Akron Press | Poem for July 2018 July 19th, 2018 “Cussing in the Playground” by Oliver de la Paz 07/19/2018 The poem “Cussing in the Playground” appears in the poetry collection Requiem for the Orchard by Oliver de la Paz, published by The University of Akron Press as part of the Akron Series in Poetry. Visit uakron.edu/uapress to order a copy of Oliver’s book and to browse other Akron Series in Poetry books. Cussing in the Playground I was irreverent in my youth. Not a hair of mine was trained on words I said. At the first red flare, I’d hurl curses. They were bees spiraling out of me. Sometimes I wanted to gather them in the playground with my bare hands, I thought, much like guiding water into a plastic bag. I was stung for my wretchedness frequently. At times I was the hollow place between my clavicle and my neck. Troublesome, I was uncomfortable with eye contact because of their slant and so I became troublesome . . . often sidelong. Little mastications dotted my ears, telling me to shut up. So I would clamp shut my heathen mouth. There was nothing to prove to God or otherwise. In the untimely event of my death, I decided I would look up. And if there were a blemish on my face my mouth won’t falter. Oliver de la Paz is the author of four books of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. He is the co-editor of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems and the co-chair of Kundiman.org’s advisory board. He teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Western Washington University. (Cover image courtesy of The University of Akron Press. Tell your friends:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.