Down the Hatch

Painting by Steven Schuman

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers


Tom Petty tried out the names Sundowners, the Epics and Mudcrutch before gaining success with the band title, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. In the film, Runnin’ Down a Dream, he reports the heartbreaker name was an inside joke, as no one in the band considered himself a heartbreaker. Oh, the power of names. My poem, “Down the Hatch” is inspired by the harsh break-up song, “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

It also contains the MMA Storytime Word of the Day: Cheater so it seemed like the perfect day to take it out on my digital lawn for some fun. Please take no offense for as Puck said at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended–That you have but slumbered here while these visions did appear.”

Down the Hatch

Nosy ex-lover,
walking on my chessboard
while I’m playing a new game.
Left you chasing rabbits,
Cheshire Cat cheater,
grinning and talking to the ‘pillar
I put back in my pants.
You’ll never reawaken him
by screaming out my name.

Poisonous mushroom
of a memory,
go ahead, slap it, baby
and, I’ll move on down,
give and take with glee.
Your face reminds me
of a very unmerry birthday,
When you sat there
slurping down
an undulating sea
of red clover tea.

So if I spy you
taking my backstairs,
tryna ruin my next match,
I’ll slice you
vertical for just desserts,
fork you up,
and send you
down the hatch.

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