By Billy Tuggle

To the bully within earshot…

swinging fists at a target called life
…a trainwreck waiting to happen, daily
…a soiled mattress
…the monster crawled from under the bed
…a snitch
…agent provacature
…a mouthful of crap
…a reflection breaking the real face before the mirror
…a Monday morning on a Saturday afternoon
Pulling us in as you drown in your own quicksand
You hurl insults like dodgeballs
Make the weak kiss concrete

Nobody knows the stories you bury in your yard
like animal corpses
Camp counselor keeping you in the dark with dirty hands all over
Little brother was their favorite
Hid your learning disorder by teaching disorder

Bold enough to scream down the barrel of the cannon
you are afraid to fire in your defense
Too much of a coward to confront your demons
so you facilitate others’ misery
You want us to empathize
Can’t find a willing audience
so you take emotional hostages
Haven’t realized ton of bricks
weighs the same as a ton of feathers

The king of the goons is still a goon
Until you learn to care
about my dreams and heartbeat
and the size of my world,
You are the Superjerk in it
and I will divulge the secret of kryptonite
This is not violence answering itself as much as last resort
The politically correct confront you with passivity
and say I’ll become the beast that I can’t avoid
But the only cure for your epidemic is a dose of your own plague
Hoping you lead your pack of rats right to the bait

Bring the ‘beef’, I’ll cook it with a flamethrower
Talk shit about me, I’ll make it about your werewolf Momma
Let’s see how you like a dirty fight with mud on your taste-buds
You come with a fist, I come with two
You have a death crush, I’m bringing you a bouquet of destruction
Bring knives to the playground, I will arm warheads
Alligator mouth with a glass jaw will not remain undefeated
I deliver payback with 100% interest
A bully will always blink when hit in the head with a hammer

Billy Tuggle is a South Side Chicago native; a vocalist, performance poet, mentor and teaching artist. His involvement with hip-hop culture and the competitive art of poetry slam has enabled him to perform and facilitate workshops in his craft across North America. He has been published in various journals and anthologies, as well as having published two of his own poetry collections, and has been included in the youth-oriented collection Learn Then Burn, from Write Bloody Publishing, and is regular contributor to the annual Chicago youth poetry slam Louder Than A Bomb. This poem will appear in the anthology, Seeing the Unseen.