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Can-Man

Caleb Smith Avatar Caleb Smith - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Can-Man which was written by poet Caleb Smith. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Can-Man

By the time I left that awful place,
he was just a stain on the pavement.

I couldn't help but think of how gruesome death really is
and the ridiculous way Hollywood passes it off.
ENTERTAINMENT
Judo chop to the neck ... dead guy
Kick to the face ... dead guy
Pistol shot to the stomach ... dead guy
Hit by a car ... another dead guy ...
no screaming or begging for help,
no jerking or spraying gobs of blood on people nearby,
no gawkers, frozen in place, staring at the horror ...
as if it really were a movie,
and certainly no mothers who saw the whole thing,
screaming her son's name over and over and over ...
even now I can hear it ...
"Ronnie!!" ... "Ronniee!!" ... "Ronnieeeee!!!!"

Her hands reaching and clenching the air,
as if she could grasp his life as it left him,
to save it ... maybe in a locket,
or in a drawer where precious things are kept.

Kneeling beside him was eerily similar to watching an animal die.
... the wide open, staring eyes ... never blinking,
the pulsing blood from deep wounds, matching the beat
of a heart fighting to stay alive,
a metallic smell and taste in the air ... death smells like metal ...
the twitching muscles, nerves that won't accept
that they are no longer needed,
a wet, rumbling final exhale ... blood and spit and air,
and life ... gone ... like it was only a breeze to begin with.

And it blew through his mother's hair when it left this world.
Sometimes I wonder if she remembers me being there,
or if Ronnie knew I tried to help him,
but I doubt it.

His name was Ronnie.
They called him Can-Man.

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 6:40:00 PM

    returning to this stunner!! So good seeing you around the blogs now, Caleb.38yp

  1. Date: 10/3/2013 9:05:00 AM

    Pork 'n Beans overfeeding - dead guy. Great story! G.

  1. Date: 9/9/2013 5:45:00 AM

    Wow...such sentiments have passed through my brain...but perhaps a little differently. I love how you penned this. You are such a talented writer..hope to read more soon! Always, Laura

  1. Date: 9/5/2013 3:54:00 PM

    I am moved beyond mere words. What a gift you possess! I feel privileged to have read this piece.

  1. Date: 9/5/2013 2:09:00 PM

    Caleb......I WAS THERE! I saw it...I saw it through your eyes...Gut wrenching...sad....Oh...my...Death is always hovering around. We HAVE become desensitized...Sometimes it is a defense mechanism...We need to survive. Thanks for sharing this...It has touched me...Please...do check your very last...that needs to be a THEY there! HUGS

  1. Date: 9/4/2013 12:49:00 PM

    ohhh my.. edgy write etched in a contemporary milieu.. power-packed, caleb!... :) huggs

  1. Date: 9/3/2013 3:44:00 PM

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excellent Poetry Poet. Tell everybody that your a poet they will bow before like I'm doing.

  1. Date: 9/3/2013 3:42:00 PM

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hold on I just want to say Wow!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wait one second I'm going to read that again, I'll be back. Don't go no where it will just be a second.

  1. Date: 9/2/2013 2:12:00 PM

    Wow! His last breath blew through his mother's hair. How descriptive and wonderful. Great piece.

  1. Date: 8/31/2013 9:13:00 AM

    Caleb, this is a great story, You have a good heart, thanks for always sharing it... xox..Linda

  1. Date: 8/31/2013 9:13:00 AM

    soup mail

  1. Date: 8/29/2013 11:21:00 AM

    By doing so, I feel like you've also given him a tribute. Even if his mom didn't know, I bet that Ronnie knew how you tried. God bless his soul, and yours, too. Also, I somehow see the connection why that came to mind, I mention callouses... but wow, you can juggle hot coals?? You should be called the one with asbestos hands! I bet that is such a sight to see & your kids love that... Now I seem like such a novice when I get to handle a hot bowl from the microwave using my bare hands.

  1. Date: 8/29/2013 11:17:00 AM

    Finally I get to comment here properly. I read this again and it was better this time around, since I wasn't in a rush. You sure brought a different side to showing death here-- the more 'real' side of it, & I can't help but recall some of the moments of deaths that my other loved ones have seen/experienced. So true what you say here...I especially liked how you brought this all together, loved how you described death-then coming full circle with his mom, and finally to Ronnie. cont'd

  1. Date: 8/29/2013 7:47:00 AM

    Wow! a graphic and sad poem. Nice description. Thank you for your unique comments on my alligator crocodile blog

  1. Date: 8/27/2013 3:11:00 PM

    Hello Caleb! Thanks for visiting my page and commenting, very kindly, on my poetry. Talk about descriptive -- you've got some great talent there "death smells like metal." Nice.

  1. Date: 8/27/2013 12:15:00 PM

    Welcome back! We've missed you this long, hot summer... Jack

  1. Date: 8/26/2013 6:49:00 AM

    I'm laying my Roe Petals at your feet, you are commendable Caleb, thanks for the kind visit my page, xxx

  1. Date: 8/24/2013 10:11:00 AM

    Btw, really like what you call yourself, it has a nice ring to it! Do pls write some more, Painted Hunter!

  1. Date: 8/24/2013 10:08:00 AM

    Hi Caleb! I promise to be back on this very gripping write of yours to leave a decent comment. Thanks so much for passing by, and hoping that all's well with you and your family! So great to see you back here!

  1. Date: 8/23/2013 6:43:00 AM

    Hi Caleb,I'm so.happy to be reading your poems again..: ) You came back with a powerful poem..Knowing this is not a Hollywood acting shot gives me chills in my spine.An experience no one would ever like to experience..especially a mother with her dying child. Very deep Caleb.

  1. Date: 8/23/2013 12:01:00 AM

    thanks for stopping by to visit me and I am still awaiting a new poem, my friend!!

  1. Date: 8/22/2013 9:13:00 PM

    Hey brother....hay in and dry? Hope so! Good to hear from you..this reminds me so much of this guy around here that goes around collecting cans on his bicycle... apparently homeless... have seen him around for years...he will never accept help....I'm always afraid he will be hurt on the highway..anyway...totally relating in my own way here...love it.....thanks....hi to the family

    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith Date: 11/8/2013 5:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    That's actually exactly who Ronnie was...that's why they called him Can-Man. He rode around collecting cans on a bike. He was deaf and he didn't hear the truck coming that killed him. Hit and run. I watched it go down and tried CPR but his neck was busted.
    Jones Avatar Donna Jones Date: 8/23/2013 8:10:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Came back to re-read this again...this morning...hope you are OK...sounds like a very painful experience to add to the ones you carry around in your kind heart already...you are one of Gods tough soldiers lil brother..
  1. Date: 8/22/2013 8:36:00 PM

    Wow Caleb....a powerful write! It felt like I was a bystander watching this horrific scene transpire. Excellent! Hugs

  1. Date: 8/22/2013 3:58:00 PM

    You are a poetic master of words and vision. A stunning write that grips the soul. Brilliant :)

  1. Date: 8/22/2013 3:11:00 PM

    Caleb. Wow you are a master story-teller. Like the other ladies here, I have really missed your poetry and I was so happy to see your visit to my poem today, and then to come and read this. It's a sad poem, I can't imagine being a mother and going through that. And you've told it in such a real way that I feel like I was a witness to it :( I'm torn about this one. But I do love your writing so of course I was glad to read it, and look forward to more!

  1. Date: 8/22/2013 10:50:00 AM

    Oh, Caleb... I completely agree with Andrea. I have so missed your poetry - the gut-wrenching descriptions and profound observations ("and life ... gone ... like it was only a breeze to begin with"). SO glad to have you back!!

  1. Date: 8/21/2013 12:07:00 PM

    - Picture becomes glued to the retina .... and the soul. - A dramatic poem, skilled told Caleb. - oxox // Anne-Lise :)

  1. Date: 8/21/2013 1:11:00 AM

    I too need to SKEE DADDLE> gosh it is after 1. If I were not suffering all this year with only being able to sleep five hours per night, I would be more concerned!

  1. Date: 8/21/2013 1:10:00 AM

    Such a powerful poem. How I have missed your poetry, Caleb. I hope this one means you are going to be posting more!!! I love how you did this theme. Making it really stick with the reader.