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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

DO YOU FEEL THE SAME | Jake Reynolds

Bart is caught not three feet from the automatic doors

of the shopping mall he has shoplifted the video game

Bonestorm from. The security guard, in gravelly tones,

says, If you ever set foot in this store again, you’ll be spending

Christmas in juvenile hall. Capiche? And Bart doesn’t

understand what ‘capiche’ means, and neither did I

when I first watched it. It’s like saying, ‘you understand?’

and the other person replying, ‘Gesundheit?’

Later in the episode, Bart’s mother Marge finds out

about his shoplifting, and he is crushed by her response

since it manifests not as anger but as wounded

disappointment, infused with a dissociative sensibility.

It is the most moving episode of my childhood,

and I used to cry in private just thinking about it

even though it turns out well, as most episodes do.

Bart atones, after all, and gifts Marge a framed photo

of himself. I looked around the leaky house

and counted pound coins I had kept and that week

bought my mother Stadium Arcadium on CD,

getting the bus there and back from the city.

When she opened it I thought she was going to cry

and, not understanding the significance of my gesture

but feeling its ineffable weight, I again

cried in private, and was keen to know why.

Jake Reynolds is a poet and PhD researcher at the University of East Anglia. His research concerns a theory of antipopulist poetics, the first-person plural in contemporary poetry, and the later works of John Ashbery. He has had his poetry and criticism published online and in print.

Twitter: @JakeAReynolds



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