Steven Kleinman
No One Is Proud

No one is proud of a drug addiction

or a son with addiction or a cousin

who stops calling his mother no one

is proud of an accident no one is proud

their grandmother was mean like a dog

a secret smoker no one spends Saturdays

talking about house painting how they

would have made it pro at house painting

if they could have figured out school

and going to class more times than not

no one is proud as they get hooked on pain

killers wrapping car after car around the same tree

no one I know goes to church and believes

much but it’s nice to see everyone no one likes

when they can’t find a job and spend hours

surfing the internet for what might take them

away a little feel a certain way or feel anything

at all even anger no one likes anger

no one likes losing it at their kids throwing

their kid’s toys left on the G D Ground again

no one likes slamming doors broken doorjambs

leaving the television on for hours

passing in and out of sleep watching the game

and what kind of game is it anyways the warm

hours fading when someone comes home

in a tone already already already at it again

I don’t want to hear it have already heard it

enough anyway let’s have it out have the fight

no one wants to have my parents were throwers

they didn’t brag when the doors slammed shut

and someone turned again needing

to make clear what they said which was always

I’m scared I’m so scared I’m so very

scared we might not make it.




Found In Volume 49, No. 03
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Steven Kleinman
About the Author

Steven Kleinman is the author of Life Cycle of a Bear, winner of the 2019 Philip Levine Poetry Prize. His book will be published by Anhinga Press in January of 2021. His work has appeared in Copper Nickel, The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, Oversound, and others. He teaches poetry at the University of the Arts, and he is the faculty coordinator of the Art Alliance Writers’ Workshop.