Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

David W. Landrum

teaches Literature at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Dark Horse, Loch Raven Review, The Raintown Review, Small Brushes and other journals.

He edits Lucid Rhythms, the on-line poetry review.

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He’s Good-Bad, But He’s Not Evil Title from the song “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” by The Shangri-Las, 1965

A leather jacket, sure, and slicked back hair;
he smokes and rides a motorcycle. Yes,
he gets in trouble, sometimes, here and there.
Cops don’t like his looks, his walk, his dress.

But most of it’s an act. When it comes down
to God and state, he’ll soberly enlist;
when he evokes another passing frown
from the police, his girlfriend will insist,
“He’s good-bad, but not evil.” What she means
is that he always stops. Her underwear
stays on. Even their steamy make-out scenes
have limits neither one of them would dare
to cross.
                         Good-bad, not evilthat’s the bliss
that makes her want to give him a big kiss.