Featured, Featured Poetry

Chris Alaimo – Lovely Kid

Chris Alaimo’s Lovely Kid is an expression of grief for the freedom and innocence through which we explore ourselves in exploring the world in childhood. Alaimo writes about the poem: “In therapy, I’ve learned a lot about the inner family all of us have. We have inner children who are burdened with painful experiences. They never have the opportunity to truly be children because they are burdened with attachment injuries and trauma. But, unburdened, these children are sources of creativity, play, and openness—and as adults we lose connection with these parts of ourselves as we exile and bury these children and their painful experiences. And so, Lovely Kid is as much a sort of mourning as it is an attempt at paying homage to those children and attempting to connect with them. And so while the tenor of the poem is one of lament, the undercurrent is one of appreciation and longing to reconnect—frankly, to hug.”

Lovely Kid

I used to sit
quiet, docile
perhaps happy
in my foam Barney chair
watching that wretched,
purple dinosaur
dance around gleefully,
no care in the world.
That was before
I could feel the weight
of the injustice
of not being able
to jam square pegs
in round holes
of not being able to
flap my arms
and soar skyward
that was when
banging my head
against a wall,
and falling off my bike
and cutting up my knees
against stone gravel,
and grabbing the
most definitely
recently used
cast iron skillet with an
unwavering self-assuredness
only a little shit of a child
could possibly have
felt good, felt so immediately
and obviously right
even though
I wailed in pain,
this was all before
the pure joy and awe
of childhood
was more than
a cheap, tired metaphor,
when being,
yes, just being,
and wholly residing in
and attending to feeling
right there in my body,
behind awareness that
I was feeling,
was a gift,
a gift never gifted to me,
but surely of me, a gift
I didn’t know was temporary
and necessarily revocable.
I was a lovely kid then,
I am told


Chris Alaimo

Chris Alaimo is a poet from Hamilton, ON. When not tortuously laboring over pedantic verbal distinctions, you can find him collecting Confederation-era Canadian poetry, powerlifting, and watching everything on Netflix.

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