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(Scroll down to read excerpts!!)

I am a bullet

screaming to the ground.
The air rushing past me, so fast, I can’t breathe,
I am gasping.
The sound¬¬––like a 747 taking off in my eardrums.
Getting louder, and louder.
The ground getting closer, and closer.
This is supposed to get rid of my pain,
get rid of it forever.
This is my cure.
It wasn’t supposed to hurt.
I was supposed to go unconscious,
I haven’t passed out yet, and it hurts.
It hurts ‘cause I can’t breathe.
My chest collapsing against itself.
Squeezing all my insides,
Squeezing everything.
The building is an upside down blur, balconies racing past me.
Now I’m going even faster,
my eyes blasted open from the force of gravity.
I try to blink, but I can’t.
My speed
much faster than I planned.
I flip over . . .
Feet first,
I start my re-entry into the next life.
I really hope its better than this one.
I can see a woman pushing a stroller––
a man jogging––

Life . . .



Everywhere I look, I trip over them
and land on more.
Our life now—nothing but boxes.
Everything we own, everything we can grab—
miles of tape close up our past.
Mom cries as Aunt Berny puts her arm around her.
Mom pulls away, cutting another piece of tape.
I watch it all happen, like a silent news reporter.
Taking everything in, not able to really deal.
Not able to deal with it at all.
I'm alone now. Lost without Dad.
All alone, just me inside my head.
Mom says everything is going to be different now.
Mom says a lot more with her eyes than her mouth.
Her eyes so sad all the time.
Looking down, looking anywhere but here.
this time that came so fast,
snuck up on us and took away my Dad.
Took away our life
I hate here
I hate now
I hate all these



I wear an S on my chest
Super Small Fry Able to leap big bullies in a single bound.
I can crawl on the ground
under their radar.
Use my power
to get all A's in class.
I can run fast
slip inside
a small space
and hide.
I stand and fight
for the little guy.
Super Small Fry
always saves the day!

**(for my friends at Bennett Intermediate, Piqua, OH!)


Here are 4 kids you should get to know.


... I'm a genius, the one they call Floater. That's because I move in and out on my own ocean. Waves I've created. I'm like the moon; I've got my own gravitational force, and there's not shit anyone can do about it.

TISHA . . .

... Granny calls me a super combo. I don't know, I feel more like an unhappy meal. I just don't fit in; I just don't fit. Not in this school. It's mostly white, but all the black kids stick together. Both sides want me to choose, but both sides don't really want me.

RYAN . . .

... I'm the best. That's the way it is, the way it will always be.
"On my mind, Susie Sunshine, as Mrs. Fields calls the roll:
" 'Ryan Duncan'?"
" Here.'" I say in my laid-back Varsity Voice. Third-row cool--me and Zak and Stew. We are the elite. We're going to Three-peat.
The BEARS. We are the champions!
" 'Kurt Reynolds.'" He's one of them. I don't even notice him. Why should I? I don't look back. They shouldn't be in class.
Don't even know their names. Don't care. They're not really there.
This is my school. My class. My town. Don't want 'them' around. They just bring us all down. Make us look bad. That's what the Colonel says, but it's true. They make 'us' look, at 'them', on purpose.
Now I'm all mad. They're killin' my Susie Sunshine buzz.

KURT . . .

... Damn, I suck--always looking for someone to save me. I don't turn around, I'm pretending I'm writing something important. I wish I had my greatest hits notebook. Left it in my backpack in my locker. Mr. Tanner says it is good to write stuff down. Says it's a release. I guess it helps sometimes, but not now.
No, now is shit. I can't keep up with my pile; I can't keep up. As much as I try, more gets dumped on top of me. Bag after bag of trash poured over my head. How much garbage can a person live in? Does Mr. T really expect me to live my life this way? Forever? Always being dumped on? No, he can't expect me to keep taking this, can he? These morons have no idea. Nobody does, not even Mr. T. They have no idea who I really am, what I'm capable of. Yeah, I'll sit and take it, but my pile is almost to the top now. There's no more room. Do they know what that means? I don't think so. No one does, not even Mr. T. They don't know that I have the power right here, right here in my hands. Well, maybe it's time for me to show my power. Maybe I should say something back, but when I talk, when I finally say something, it won't be with words...These fools will hear me alright; everyone will hear me. Then they'll wonder why they treated me this way. They'll wish they had just tried to talk to me, talk to me like I was a person--treated me like a real person, not just a punching bag, not just a big garbage can to throw shit into, to piss on. They'll wish they could take it all back, but they won't be able to It'll be too late. Yeah, I've got something to say..You wanna hear it? Huh?
Do you 'really' want to?

A Celebration
Of Music

Dutton Children's Books (2002) illustrated by Martin French

Today's specials:

I start the day with my music buffet:
Morning fuel burns-cool jazz jams
on buttered toast.
Hot salsa
Floats over
everything I
eat and drink
in the
So much to choose from, can't pick just one.
Freshed Squeezed Tina Turner-tastes so smooth.
Add a stack of Marvin Gaye-out the door to school.
Grab my James Brown bag lunch,
ready for my funk...

(Click book cover to order book, & see how this poem ends.)


"Radio waves
to my ears
tickling the inside of my brain
Every song, 3 and 1/2 minutes of fame.
I'm in the song, in the band.
Pump my fist, raise my hand.
36,000 screaming fans yell:
Do the splits, then a three-sixty off my bed,
thrash my head to the beat..."

(Click book cover to order book, & see how this poem ends.)

We walk sideways:

down the street
Hip Hop
Loud Talk
Baggy shorts
past our knees.....

"I'm MC Free: gonna be what I want,
no one can touch me, don't even try to front.
My rap is so hype, I can scribble or type.
My rhymes so smooth, make your booty wanna move.
After class kickin' back, do my math really fast.
Adding all the millions from my first single.
On the couch filet mignon and Pringles..."

(Click book cover to order book, & see how this poem ends.)

No guitar blues:

"Ba Da da da DA.
Got a brand-new guitar.
Ba DA da da DA.
Just the other day.
Ba DA da da DA.
Played it for five minutes.
Ba DA da da DA.
Then my mom took it away.
Ba DA da da DA
See she got real mad.
Ba DA da da DA
Said I couldn't go out.
Ba DA da da DA
Got an F on my math test.
Ba DA da da DA
Make me wanna scream and shout....."

(Click book cover to order book, & see how this poem ends.)


From the poem "Not Like TV"

"As I turn the corner, reality smacks me in the face and kicks me in the stomach.
Its not like what you see
That last piece of twisted metal hovering over what once was.
Looking like the grim reaper, five stores high..."

"They carry untold souls on their shoulders, buckets of agony in twelve-hour shifts.
Digging through hell, I can tell, they've seen things a person should never have to see.
Seen things they'll want to forget, but never will...."

Copyright (c) 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 Jaime Adoff

Poetry in motion . . .