Bad People


(poetry diary 25) Cool. Inspired by the Kanye West poem that I posted yesterday, I went looking for more poems about french fries. I instead found something I needed more: a poem called “Bad People” by Mark Halliday.

My 4-year-old, like many 4-year-olds, is fascinated by the idea of “bad people.”  Halliday’s narrative poem pretty captures some of the things I’ve been trying to explain to him about the subject, and thinking about it should help me, I hope, to figure out how to handle future, similar discussions.  In addition to french fries the poem contains “backstories” –another word that we use a lot in our house when we try to figure out why characters are the way they are.  For ex:

Jack might be
a skinny guy in a black fake-leather jacket,
he’s twenty-five, his gray pants are too loose on his hips,
his jaws always have these little black extra hairs,
his mother won’t talk to him on the phone,
she lives on french fries and ketchup,
he hasn’t been able to send her any cash
in the last two years, ever since he lost
his job unloading produce trucks at Pathmark;



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