Larry, Curly, and Moe have become
childhood-eating ghosts. They taunt,
they haunt, they still slam heads with
an overhand fist, still gouge eyes,
still teach the young to giggle at pain.
I recall everything they taught me
about how art doesn’t always imitate life — 
something I learned by hours of backyard practice
of every Stooge-stunt on the neighborhood kids,
just as they learned by trying things out on me.  

We went out into the bigger playgrounds
allegedly having learned the difference between
a staged massacre and the real thing.
It’s hard to believe that now.

Maybe we learned a different lesson:
one about how little it hurts
to inflict mayhem on another, or one about
how quaint such ancient comic savagery appears
when given enough filter through time and grime

to forget how much we loved it once, how hard
we worked to perfect every noise they made
as they suffered so hilariously,  how well
they set the stage
for the world
we now call our own.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

2 responses to “Stooges

  • Eileen

    I confess that I cringed every time I was caught unawares by a Three Stooges’ show. Definitely not a fan. This will sound like bragging when I admit I once had dinner with all three. Sat next to Moe who talked a lot about stocks and bonds and seemed pretty bright. One of my brother- in-laws had a booking agency for fairs etc. So when they took them out to dinner, my husband (who was a fan) and I were invited. I might have felt privileged to be asked, but my father-in-law, a back room politician, who was the host for that dinner, didn’t invite us when they had Jack and Jackie to brunch at their house. I’m still a little miffed about that, since I was a fan. That would have been an incredible experience and definitely “dining out” material.

  • lostinmist

    Art. Just rag. So it is. And nothing can be shifted.

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