The Fatboy with No Imagination
from Down the Block

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The Fatboy With No Imagination From Down The Block
copyright 1989 by Richard Amidon

Poet Bio
    Richard Amidon

Sample Poems
    Three Months         Drying Out         Heads

Poet Bio

Richard Amidon

Born in Michigan in 1959, Richard Amidon earned his B.S. in English at Northern Michigan University, his M.A. in Creative Writing and his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He is presently dean at Baker College in Owosso, Michigan, where he has worked since 1984. He has published poems in Dimensions, English Journal, The Nebraska Review, Rambunctious Review, Slipstream, The Small Pond Magazine of Literature, Sunrust, and elsewhere. In 1986, he was a New Voice in Michigan Poetry, and was invited to read at the 10th Annual Michigan Poetry Festival. Many of his plays have received numerous productions in the Mid-west and in Canada, and he has twice won The University of Windsor's New Theatre Festival. His latest play, Ten Years Ago Tonight, was made into a video by Promethean Productions.

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Three Months

Last Night
I slept in the woods
under the trees
near where I buried
the Playboys
I stole as a kid from
my father

Yes today I am successful
I make a big salary
haven't raped
haven't committed incest
haven't murdered  Yet
and don't plan to

So much for those studies
I think while fighting an urge
to dig up Miss September
Miss October
Miss November

wondering if I might find the bones
of the only women I ever really loved
with a passion that could


Copyright ©1989 Richard Amidon

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Drying Out

It is July and
Bud paints my father's house.
He wears black galoshes with rusty buckles,
a flannel shirt,
corduroy trousers.
And he has these sunglasses to protect his eyes
from something called sunlight.
Bud is 6' 2"
but lost half his stomach
before he got the message.
With all the clothes he must
weigh 97 pounds.

Bud's wife was blind,
was born that way,
which is maybe why she married Bud in the first place.
He was sure she could not see him for what he really was,
sure until she lolled herself with a coat hanger in his
blaming herself for bud's half gut.

Looking at Bud now, all you can see are bones,
knee caps through his pants.
And now my father is giving him a chance.
The chance to paint his life over again,
to paint himself a full stomach
to paint himself some fat back around those knuckles.
To paint himself a new wife who will see a man
with a paintbrush in his hand,
and not a boiled egg and a beer.

Copyright ©1989 Richard Amidon

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There is a way certain men become when they have lost all
resting their heads on a windowsill,
they smoke cigarettes,
they blink their eyes,
hoping to open them to find a different face reflected
in the dirty glass.
Someone else's face,
anyone else's face.
They leave their flies open for hours at a time
until someone must take them aside
reminding them that there is a fine line
between forgetfulness
and flashing.
They look long and hard for a time in their lives
when they had a job
for a time when liquor worked
for a time when poverty was the next door neighbor's problem.

They look long and hard into their lives for a time
when they had a Head!
and not just something to rest on a windowsill.

Copyright ©1989 Richard Amidon

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