Almanac Poetry: ‘Worth A Damn’ – Tommy Mallet


Worth A Damn


When asked how he did it,
Bukowski replied;
“For every piece you read,
there are thousands
more, you don’t.”


Retelling the tale of a kid
he worked with,
who wanted to write a book,
Henry told him; “Well, then, do it. Lock yourself
in a room.”


I like his writing, in small doses,


jealous, in moments,
but find gears,
formula everywhere,

when reading it for too long.




They say, the Theys,
the good, ol’ Theys,
Bill Clinton, during his eight years
in office,
would get four, sometimes five,
hours sleep a night.

Welcome to the club, cunt.

weren’t doing backbreaking bush jobs,
coming home covered in mud, blood,
sitting at a desk,
and writing, dirt everywhere, until diner at 1-2am.

Dinner slows a man down,
puts him to sleep.

You, didn’t eat at the desk,
nod off,
wake up angry, confused,
and write more,
keep falling asleep,
until conceding defeat,
each night, near dawn.

Go to be covered
in your day’s crust.

had naps through the day,
so a few of the Theys say.

Not as many.
Details ruin a good story.


Still, you did run the free world,
such as it is.


From up here, on the mountain,
all those aides, advisers,
I wonder if you ever,
or always felt alone.



Football has fairly dominated
my life.
All those seasons of an extreme contact sport.


15 concussions,
24 broken bones,
ruptured arteries,
10 surgeries.

The publishers used to love it
when I got injured.
I couldn’t work in the bush,
more chapters would come.

Now, they don’t answer my calls.



It’s all sport, they say,
but the person I admired most,
was an European marathon runner,
in the ’86 Olympic games.


She was coming 47th, or something,
800 metres to go, when
half her body seized up, and
she collapsed.

The nannies ran to help,
yet, with her one good arm,
she shooed them off.

Pushed herself up.

Staggered forward,

on one leg,
head bent, pumping one hand.

She fell again,
they nannies came, thinking they were angels.

The fools.

She knew. She knew.
It was worth risking permanent injury,
It was worth everything.

Just to finish.

I don’t even know her name,
or nationality.
It doesn’t matter. The gist remains;
she was all of us

worth a damn.




You can read more poetry from Tommy Mallet Here.



More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE


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  1. Holy crap! Talk about getting a glimpse into a man who’s live two, three, maybe four lives. Every word you have written is a gift.

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