butcher

by tobias kinti   Dec 29, 2019


i heard
that he was
a butcher and
a drinker

i heard
that one day
he got so drunk
that as he hacked
into the pig's leg
he misjudged
and took off
two of his
fingers

i heard
that when
he was only
five or six years
old his mother
locked him and
his sisters in
the closet and
they never heard
from her again

i heard
that one day
as he sat alone
in his dark apartment
listening to vinyl
and drinking gin
there was a thud
on the door and
when he answered
two armed robbers
took him to the ground
and put a shotgun to
his temple whilst
they took everything
he owned

i heard
he once did
time for doing
something
similar

i heard
that there's a
graveyard somewhere
in the dark country
a graveyard solely
for the family name
- but he may
have been drinking
when he told my
mother that

i remember
being around five
when he brought
home the brain
of a cow from work
it was wrapped
in clingfilm

i still remember
how the veins
bulged through
the plastic and
how my mother
screamed in
horror and
rage at the
thought of
having it
for dinner

I thought
about all of this -

as i drank rum

and cooked bacon

and peppers

barefooted

in the dark

and then

i cut my toe

and it bled

profusely

over the

tiles

i remember

how i drank

and cooked

and bled

and began

wiping my toe

all over

the tiles

what kind

of monster

was i born to

i asked

what kind

of monster

did she

fall for?

4


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Latest Comments

  • 7 months ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    Tobias,

    I wanted to say I think more people should read your work, and I feel you have some hidden gems that truly tell a story. I know you don't post much on here, but thank you for what you do share.

    I'm blown away by this. Parts of it are gruesome, make me squeamish and make me feel utter despair. I cannot put into words all that is conveyed here, but your voice and depth in this poem is stellar. Reading it through the first time, I could only see this man, this father, a metaphor for cruelty. Then, I sensed the hopelessness, as he had to grow up and grow through an abusive childhood, does that shape or define him? Just as the pigs and animals are slaughtered, is there no stopping the aftermath, the effects of what will shape us? Are we doing whatever it takes to survive, preparing and chasing after our desires even though it may be a vulgar, crude process... or are we just unrealized monsters? The image of him being on the receiving end of an act of violence, of robbing others and holding them at gunpoint, did he do that out of desperation, did he seek that destruction or did he abandon all morals. So many questions on this.

    I really thought about nature vs nurtue here. Your narrative of growing up then taking after his routines so to speak, that is powerful, as you try to understand your own identity and character.

    Can't wait to read more from you.

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