American flag
The Pro-Youth Pages
© 2003, Pro-Youth Pages

A Poem about J.D. Salinger

"Boy, I can't stand that sonuvabitch. He's one sonuvabitch I really can't stand."
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Recently, one of my teachers organized a classroom poetry slam, asking us each to write a poem about anything related to the class. Earlier, he'd had us read Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, a book he seemed to like for its "rebel without a cause" hero. I had a different reaction, so I wrote this smart-ass poem about it. Most of my classmates seemed to love it, even those who liked Salinger's book. Enjoy.

FOXFIRE is My Heart

Why did Mark Chapman shoot Lennon in the head?
Couldn't he have shot J.D. Salinger instead?!
As "Amos and Andy" did to the blacks,
Catcher in the Rye stabbed youth in their backs.
Caricature, stereotype, ridicule, scorn,
A role model of submission, a reader's heart torn.
(Joyce Carol Oates kept out of high schools,
Because models of strength would be empowering tools.)
"Rebel without a cause"? More like a wimp without a clue,
Designed to make the old feel superior to you.
A teenager lusting after women twice his age?
Isn't this why we booed Birth of a Nation off the stage?
If Salinger stops hiding, leaves hibernation,
I will kick his ass up and down this nation.
I really will, and I goddamn mean it,
Stick my foot so hard in his butt it will come out his penis.
Kick his redundant ass I will crazy do,
Until it's really black and goddamn-diddly blue.
Bust a cap in his ass and another in his head.
Leave Salinger's body just like his conscience: dead.