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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)

TITLE: How Pit Bullish is That?
By Henry Clemmons


I didnít say what she heard
When I said what I said
That she says that I said
That I didnít really say,

She thought that I said
What I said
Was an insult to her mother,
Which isnít what I said,
Even though it couldíve been true, metaphorically speaking,
But it wasnít what I said,

She told her mother what I said
Which wasnít what I said
When I said what I said
About pit bulls needing muzzles,
Even though it couldíve been true, allegorically maybe,
But it wasnít what I said,

Her mother believed what I said
When she told her what I said
That I really didnít say
Even though some pit bulls do need muzzles,
But it wasnít what I said
In the way that she said what I said,
It could have been true, symbolically, on some suburbia-Freudian-like level,
But it wasnít what I said.
I had actually just seen a pit bull at the same time she was asking about Christmas dinner at her mother's;

Her mother said what I said was typical of a heathen man
Whoíd say what I said without any regard for God fearing peopleís feelings.
Honest, thatís what she said about what I said that I really didnít say.
How pit bullish is that?
And I know what she said
Because my wife told me what she said about what I said
That I really didnít say,
Even though it could have been a true statement, or a borderline figure of speech perhaps,
And I canít say I didnít have a half-second thought of the similarities Ö at the time Ö of mother-in-law and my most feared canine,

Itís not what I said even though Iíd say it now,
With great conviction,
If it didnít mean sleeping on the couch, for weeks,
Because I didnít say it the way she took it,

She said because of what I said,
That I really didnít say,
She was going to motherís,
Without me.
She said she knew what I said is what I said because my smile gave me away when I said her mother was a pit bull needing a muzzle.

I prayed about what I said and how she could think that what I said was really what I said,
That she might have a point about what I said maybe being what I said, kind of, sort of.
Because God reminded me of a brief half second when I thought I was just smiling in my mind at the mother-in-law - pit bull parallels.
So I told my wife what I said could have been what I said in a behind the scenes subliminal kind of way.
So she said what I said about what I said was kind of weak in a non-committal kind of way, with a smirk.

What I thought, I promise I didnít speak, even though I had just seen an acorn fall off a tree in our front yard. My bottom lip silently bled.

She said that she loved me
Regardless of what I said about what I said
About the pit bull and her mother
And was proud that I prayed
And confessed, even part way.
Though I thought it was a pretty good admission of possible guilt from a husbandís point of view knowing full well her mother was a pit bull needing a muzzle.

I said I loved her too.

She said that was good because we were both going to her motherís for Christmas and I was going to buy her a very nice present.
I thought about a smile again.

She said,
Without a smile,
It wouldnít be a muzzle.

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This article has been read 914 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mona Purvis12/23/10
Oh, this is just brilliant! Top-drawer, A-1, 1st Place. Did I say it is good?
Love the wit and humor.
Sarah Heywood12/23/10
The word, "brilliant" popped into my mind as I was reading this, but I see that someone already used it. So, it's amazing, outstanding, creative, and just plain GOOD! Really, really enjoyed this one!
Margaret Kearley 12/24/10
Just excellent - I love it. A brilliant use of words.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/24/10
This is outstanding poetry--categorically!
Melanie Kerr 12/26/10
Superb! Layer upon layer masterfully laid.
Loren T. Lowery12/27/10
Metaphorically speaking,
alas, our tongues do wreck havoc, don't they. Loved this and could almost too easily identify with the poor husband's plight.
Noel Mitaxa 12/27/10
A great mix of total clarity in the total confusion of it all - with a strong flavour of "Green Eggs and Ham" by Doctor Seuss. Loved it!
Cheryl Harrison12/28/10
Loved it - especially ...

Itís not what I said even though Iíd say it now,
With great conviction,
If it didnít mean sleeping on the couch, for weeks,
Because I didnít say it the way she took it,

Great job.
Gregory Kane12/28/10
Very clever and emotive. To my way of thinking it was a bit on the long side. But it came together well in the end.
Catrina Bradley 12/28/10
Stunning! Brilliant! I'm grinning ear to ear. The line about the acorn still has me puzzled. Too deep for me guess. It was a good speed-bump, tho, to gear me back into your lyrical prose, and the awesome ending came with just the right pacing
Sara Harricharan 12/29/10
Ah, what an interesting way to show the breakdown. I liked it. Pretty clever-the title fits just perfectly and the repetition of "honest" was neat.
Catrina Bradley 12/29/10
Ah, now it makes SO much sense. And it's perfect. Thanks for helping me out, HC. :)
Margaret Kearley 12/30/10
Congratulations on your very well deserved win Henry. I so loved the humour of this -as well as the lesson! (Really pleased that the two entries I loved the most this week came first and second!) Congrats again. Happy New Year!
Amanda Brogan12/30/10
This is one of my favorite poems of yours yet! Congrats on your very high placing for this very brilliant piece, which was very well thought out and quite believable. To say the least.

Absolutely love it!
Francy Judge 12/30/10
I thought your poem was funny the first time I read it and enjoyed reading it a second time to my son. A very creative idea. Congratulations on a well-deserved 2nd place EC!
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/30/10
Such fun...a winner, for sure, in my book (and apparently the judges). Congratulations.
Cheryl Harrison12/30/10
Henry - congrats on your placing. I enjoyed reading it again. So funny!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/31/10
Oh how I love this! And I so relate, even my husband who isn't really into reading and allegories etc would get a huge kick out of this. I also think he'd be relieved that he's not the only husband who gets accused of saying what he said even though it may not have been what he said but I had a sneaking suspicion it was what he meant. Do you know what I'm saying? Brilliant!!! Congratulations on your HC!
Carol Penhorwood 12/31/10
What a hoot! Loved this and don't you dare stop writing poetry. Simply delightful!

(And you had the courage to share some reality in terms that made us all chuckle.)
Troy Manning01/21/11
Very amusing! I liked the silently bleeding lip & your apropos conclusion. You probably want a hyphen in "God fearing." Otherwise, you're saying God is fearing people's feelings. Nice juggling throughout. Congratulations, Henry!