No Jibe Talking – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Acquiesce – Word of the Day




“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”  Martin Luther King Jr. (with echoes of Edmund Bourke).

No Jibe Talking

The hallways offer up a lifetime of
stale urine and cigarette ash,
I don’t think the cleaner turns up,
sounds and smells
flit in and out of my consciousness,
TV coming from 16,
laughter from 20,
someone talking loudly on the phone,
34’s door is badly fractured,
I smell Cabbage.
The hall light is flickering,
its life almost over,
like some in here,
blondie from 47 is remonstrating with
a mean looking guy,
I slow as I near her door,
blondie is holding her ground,
something about money,
she gets paid tomorrow,
I hover,
then, just for fun,
I start knocking on doors,
time for a show,
mean man slows his patter,
adjusts his stance,
everyone watching,
he climbs down,
then starts to leave,
“I’ll be back if you don’t pay”
He glares,
Don’t bother mate, she says,
we’ll be here waiting for you,
we all laugh,
here, we’re all at our wits end,
but there’s no jibe for mean guys,
we stick together.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, quote

32 responses to “No Jibe Talking – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Yes, the one action we can’t afford to take is none at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hélène - Willow Poetry

    So real and sad. Good write Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You don’t really live here, right? But even if you don’t, you minister to spirits who do. From a place of actual understanding. So rare, so precious.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sounds like a tenement I lived in in the sixties!😂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. silence of the good, safe in their apathy – very powerful words Paul.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Brilliantly written!❤

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I love your stance, Paul!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. lync56

    Great narrative poem – the beginning of a book??


    Liked by 2 people

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