V is for "Vicariously"

Hello lovelies! I have a long poem for Friday Poetry this week - it took me a few hours to write, so I just had to share it with you. This is unlike a lot of my usual poems... I kind of wanted to try something new for today, so here it is! It was inspired by two things: one, a re-watch of West Side Story, and two, this quote by James Badge Dale: "As an audience member, I live vicariously through the characters I watch or read about. There's something very relatable about comic-book characters. They're never perfect. They're flawed people put in extraordinary circumstances."

That quote really spoke to me... so, of course, I had to go and write a poem about it. It's very much a story wrapped within a poem, and I'm interested to see how well I pulled that off, so I'd love to hear what you think!



he used to go to the library, he did – said it was because the librarian was sweet and she had dimples and winked at him when he slid his books ‘cross the counter but you know, I think he only said that because he didn’t want to damage his sweet shiny spit-slick reputation he worked so hard to build up didn’t want to admit to the rest of us that big tough ol’ Johnny Miller who could arm wrestle a grizzly bear and win in two-point-oh-four seconds flat had fallen head over heels for some measly little words

used to bring back big thick books with loud melty colours on every page said they were by some weirdo called warhol or pikaso or somethin’ of the sort, I dunno, not like I could really care ‘cept the way he said it was like like he just wanted to climb into those paintings and stay there forever and ever and I sorta wanted to come with him ‘cause those paintings looked kinda cool all these weird colours everywhere, y’know? like her hair is purple and the sky is green and like maybe if I want to I can be any colour I feel like bein’

and he told me about some chick called juliet used all these big hoity-toity words like thee and thine and wherefore art thou romeo and who the hell even talks like that anyways? but he got somethin’ in his eye ‘fore he finished tellin’ me ‘bout that story – least that’s what he said, but I ain’t no fool saw him later tryin’ to scrub water off his face and his nose was still sorta red when he came back I woulda said something ‘cept no way am I gonna mess with Johnny Miller who can beat a grizzly bear at arm wrestling in two-point-oh-four seconds flat, even if he lives more down in those big books of his nowadays than he does up here with us in the real world and ‘sides, I mighta got a little somethin’ in my eye too ‘cause I kinda thought maybe juliet deserved a happy ending

I asked him once, asked him how come he liked those weird ol' books so much and he looked at me for a little and and you know what he said?

he said because he wanted to live, even if he only got to live vicariously and then he walked away and sat on the fence and looked out at the stars a bit

I dunno what vicarious means – but it sounds pretty cool like maybe it means you get to stay in those big ol' books and talk to warhol and pikaso and romeo and juliet and I dunno, maybe he's got a point there, and maybe one of these days when he opens one of those books I might wanna jump right in with him and try livin' a little vicariously myself.