He Called Himself Smart

I knew a bright fellow,
Smart, obsessed with how smart
he was. I have a stellar IQ,
he bragged to me without excuse.
Something’s in my genes,
he said, that conquers mountains
and countries with no mountains.
Today, I identify the fellow,
his body on the slab in blue jeans,
who thought he was the smartest
man in every room. Never say Excuse
me, he advised, because your IQ
doesn’t need manners. On cue,
I visualized the Smoky Mountains,
or began to sneeze as an excuse
to escape lessons of the smug fellow
who couldn’t believe how much smarter
he was than his girlfriend, Jean,

who—for him—pulled down her jeans.
Jean, sensing he had a low EQ,
seduced him to think she wasn’t smart,
lured him to a remote mountain
cabin, the sky gray and soil fallow,
saying as she locked its door,  Excuse
me, Smart. I have no excuse
except I have to buy a pair of jeans
for a date with a hot fellow,
one in my deep, dangerous queue.
Have fun in these foggy mountains!
And if you find me, tell me if it smarts
to freeze where Don Juans smarter
than you have died, where there’s no excuse
for thinking you’re the best mountain
climber. Funny how the corpse wore jeans
of the heartbreaker with higher quotients
than his: she could seduce any fellow.

Poor Smart: in tight-fitting jeans
he had one excuse—a low EQ
that left him a dead mountain fellow.

David Spicer


David Spicer has had poems in Gargoyle, Rat’s Ass Review, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, North Dakota Quarterly, Chiron Review, Easy Street, Prime Number, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares,  among others, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net twice and a Pushcart, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), and four chapbooks, with a forthcoming chapbook, From the Wings of a Pear Tree, from Flutter Press. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books.

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