local_library Scene at a Boarding School Assembly

by Jack Becker

Published in Issue No. 244 ~ September, 2017

We’re sitting by dorm and

my dorm’s place is in the back where

the acoustics are especially shitty.


The play about to start is a mock trial and

nobody really wants to be here. The houselights

are still on and I’ve got my Kindle in my


hand reading some Bukowski poems I

downloaded just a couple hours before, trying

to get some good art in my head while he


sits two seats to my left, right across the lap of

a mutual friend who’s keeping him entertained

for now. Two minutes to show time, mutual


friend gets up, moves off somewhere out of my

peripheral, leaving a clean passage from former

friend to former friend, one talking and the other


ignoring the world like it can’t see you if you’re

still. “What you reading?” he asks me, and I say,

Bukowski. “What’s that?” Poems. And I might


go on for a while, talking about how Bukowski’s the most

imitated poet in America, or how he can get everything

right with a little metaphor about some


shut-off radio or a mutual friend sitting between

two souls that ache for each other but don’t dare say—


But I think I just get quiet. Yeah.


I get quiet

read some poems

and soon the play begins

and he doesn’t talk to me again.


account_box More About

Jack Becker is a sixteen-year-old student in his Fifth Form (Junior) year at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He is not yet published in any literary magazines.