Milhouse Van Houten

by | Feb 4, 2014 | Poetry


No one taught me how

to be a man and bullies

taunted me for not

being one and I never

fought back when they

made me punch myself

because deep down I

suspected that Mr. Simpson

had me pegged when he

called me a little wiener

and even though my mom

says I’m the handsomest

asthmatic in Springfield

it was shortsighted of me

to purchase 2000 copies

of the flop comic book Biclops

and I must have done

something to make Mom leave

Dad alone in that racecar bed

so I guess I agreed with

Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney

when they wrapped me in

bumper stickers, shoved me

into a shopping cart and

down a steep hill.  Deep down

somehow I thought they were right

that I deserved to be tripped

on the sidewalk, my arms

locked in a wrestling hold

called the crucifix armbar

as I yelped Uncle, Uncle

and thought Father, Father

and help, you’re the ultimate

superhero so why

have you forsaken me?



Photo By: r. nial bradshaw

About The Author

Tom Hunley

Tom C. Hunley holds degrees from University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, and Florida State University. He is the author of three full-length poetry collections, most recently Octopus (Logan House Press, 2008, Winner of the Holland Prize); five chapbooks, most recently Annoyed Grunt (Imaginary Friend Press, 2012); and two textbooks, most recently The Poetry Gymnasium: 94 Proven Exercises to Shape Your Best Verse (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2012). He has also written for a variety of literary publications such as TriQuarterly, New York Quarterly, Five Points, The Writer, North American Review, New Orleans Review, Rattle, Exquisite Corpse, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Chronicle, Atlanta Review and Poetry Daily. His poems have been featured several times on Garrison Keillor’s NPR program, The Writer’s Almanac. In addition to writing his own poetry and prose, he is the book review editor for Poemeleon and the director/founder of Steel Toe Books. He and his wife, Ralaina, have been married since 1996, and they have three sons. In his spare time he enjoys playing bass guitar.