RIP J.D. Salinger

Catcher in the Rye is one of my favoritest pieces of literature I have ever had the opportunity of touching or smelling. It is the way a story should be written.

Younger Salinger


In memory of JD Salinger, I am posting a poem I wrote that was included in my collection of poems that won the Academy of American Poet’s Prize for 2009 at my school. It is in sestina form and this is the rough draft/draft that won; however, I am working on another revision. Revision after revision, but with no further ado, I bid thee: My Take on Catcher and the Rye.

2 hours before most of my peers knew about the death of JD Salinger, a classmate of mine (Dave) walks up to me saying, “hey, there’s this poet who wrote a poem about Catcher and I really admire his skills.”

Because the poet was me, I said to the kid, “Yea, I hear he’s a real d-bag.”
Dave says, “anyways I was wondering if he’d sign a copy of it for me” as he pulls out a copy of the Garland (my skewl’s student poetry publication).

So, I signed it. And that was the end all to it. 2 hours later, I found out about his death. I hope my poem wasn’t that bad that it killed Salinger. Enjoy!

“I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day.” – The Catcher in the Rye

~Sincerely Mr. Caufield~

Dear Fakes, Imitators, and Phonies,
In a world filled with the needy, I don’t want help.
Puppets wander through life without a sense
Of self and privilege. I’d rather be all about me, alone
Until something gives in and creates change.
Where is hope? Life is a Game,

Boy. Yea, some goddamn game
It is when the world’s a stage full of phonies.
I got my little red hunting hat and I’ll never change
This hat will hold up against all forms of help.
Alienation secludes myself. A chance for me to be alone.
A museum never changes. Always the same like me in a sense

But why is there corruption? Since
This life is a gambling game, my aim
Is to catch those bodies through the rye alone
Phoebe, my kid sister, is unlike phonies
And no one will stretch out to her for help.
I hate the pessimists who persist with change.

I’m talking to those sonuvabitches, pockets full of change
But can’t help a begging man with a few cents.
If I needed a hand, would anyone help?
The hotshots, Stradlater or Ackley make me an underdog in this game
Of life. Can’t tell the difference between melodies and cacophony,
And that’s when I want to be with my dead brother or alone

Like the ducks during the winter. Are they alone?
While time never ceases, the seasons change
And the ducks still manage to come back. The phony
Adults able themselves to let their senses
Down and can’t smell corruption. The game
Hinders those who need the help.

Maybe I’d ask for it. Maybe I’d ask for help.
But for what? I got myself. Don’t need anyone
Nor do I need the same
Game plan that will come to some inevitable change.
All adults are hypocrites because children lose their innocence.
Let’s just talk it out for a while, Mr. and Misses Phony.

Through all the blatant phoniness
I don’t want any help in this terrible, terrible fall at the end of the game
As I mature into a man, I want to save the children’s innocence alone.