“That’s Not Who I Am.” (1-4 stanzas)

There once was a man who hated his name.

Reminded him of his folks back home

in Lowell, Massachusetts.

He told me this that night.

“That’s not who I am.”

Then he lit up his cigarette

took a few drags

but before he could be asked to put it out

he angrily twisted it into the wood

threw down his money

(but no tip)


“That’s not who I am.”



This intrigued me so I followed him out.

I knew he would have an interesting point of view.

He didn’t seem to mind

though he didn’t seem to care, either

and continued to talk as if no one was there.

“I’m not a factory worker.

I’m not the Kerouac.

And I’m not a Southeast Asian.

So I hit the road, in search of a better name

or a meaning for my name. “

 “So you are a traveler?”

He stopped but didn’t turn around.

“That’s what I do.

That’s not who I am.”



The repressed anger in his voice crackled

and I would never assume what he was a again.

He said names are just tags,

tagging you to long dead pasts.

Jobs are moneymaking limitations,

limiting you to a mediocre level.

Race is an automatic stereotype,

Stereotyping you into some sort of demeaning joke.

He could go on but he would always stop,

stop before his words became to convoluted and say,

“Unless you like being defined by those sorts of things

but I don’t drink that Kool-Aid


that’s not who I am.”



He left the passenger door open to his piece of shit car

and I climbed in hesitantly.

This was a man that I really knew nothing about

except for the small fact that he was from Lowell, Mass.

But there was this real adventure he promised

by way of casting away everything you had

searching for who you really are.

“You can take the fast lane to death,” he said turning onto the high way

handing me a razor and some powder.

“Or you can take the slow road.”

He paused to watch me fumble with cutting.


that’s not who I am.”

His foot slammed down upon the accelerator

throwing me back

and the coke twisting and spiraling out the windows into the jet black night.

I coughed.

He laughed,

“That’s not who I am.”



Filed under Mr. Stacker

14 responses to ““That’s Not Who I Am.” (1-4 stanzas)

  1. This. Is. Brilliant.
    Got my mind spin in 20 different directions. Thats not how i am.

    • J.R.Taylor

      Thanks Chatty! Your praise I hold in very high revere. And I hope stanzas 5-10 keep you just as entertained. :) thanks for stopping into my playground! :)

  2. Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet and commented:
    Loved this poem, a ballad in fact to my way of thinking.

  3. This is, without a doubt, one of the most wonderful, most amazing things I have ever read. Looking forward to the next set of stanzas.

    • J.R.Taylor

      Thanks, pishnguyen! I’m so happy that you enjoyed that much! I really tried to put a ton of thought and time into this one. The next set will be up tomorrow and the last stanzas will be up on friday!
      Stay tuned!

  4. Love it. The build up and then the turn at the end.

  5. dude nice job way to take me for a roller-coaster ride that was intensely depictive nicely done

  6. really liked how your use of sensory details too

  7. The Bloggers Soliloquy

    Love the way you put the story in the poem, I’ll remember this one. Great work.

    • J.R.Taylor

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I couldn’t believe how well this came out but I’m so happy with how it turned out. Especially the story telling aspect of it.

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