Dilettante

“Dilettante”, “Visiting Hours” and “The Nice Guy Awards 2017”

In Poetry Issue Ten by August Ritchart

Dilettante

I read about the pencil made by specialization.

It convinced me that I am not special.

I am too soft for the hard jobs like mining and logging.

I am not interested in chemistry.

Maybe I am mistaken in thinking I should enjoy my role.

Then where is the sorting hat to tell me my place?

Whether I am a hunter or gatherer?

What is my comparative advantage?

I am all supply and no demand.

I am a volatile stock.

I eat all the samples at Whole Foods without buying anything.

Visiting Hours

When I came to visit you

You seemed so happy

I got a roast beef sandwich from Arby’s on the drive up

I was happy

You talked about the friends you had made

We threw a Frisbee around the disc golf course

Even though it was a regular Frisbee and not the disc golf kind

On the drive back Dad told me that you were not actually happy

And that I should not be fooled

Annie and Ruthie never visited

And I didn’t understand why


When you came to visit me I was scared

And confused

And broken

I was not allowed to eat the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that Ruthie sent me


You told me that you weren’t drunk

As if I didn’t know the exact face that you make

As if that expression wasn’t branded into my retinas, ad infinitum

And sometimes I wonder if people look into my eyes and see the mark that was left

And if it shows to whom I belong


I was mad

And I told you to leave


You mailed me an Easter basket this year

Inside were some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

The special egg-shaped ones

I ate them

And these eyes can’t see far enough outside myself to know

Which parts of me are your hand-me-downs

The Nice Guy Awards 2017

When they hold the annual awards show for nicest guy,

I will have prepared my acceptance speech.

Have to thank parents first, that will look good.

And I feel like it’s sincere, anyway.

Next come the friends.

I couldn’t have won it without pretending to want to help carry their groceries.

Of course, I should be prepared for if I don’t win.

I will be a gracious loser.

After all, if I didn’t win, I must have not been the nicest guy.

If I had only nodded a few more times while listening to that story the other day.

But if I’m being impartial here, I really should win.

This year’s field is relatively weak.

The only thing left,

Is to think of a way to parlay this award into getting women I’m interested in to like me.

About the Author

August Ritchart

August Ritchart is a student at Tulane University. It is on his bucket list to get published.