Ain’t No Prodigal Son- Nathan McCool

The star quarterback is now selling
shitty insurance to his loyal subjects.
He’ll tell you, “You can lose anything in the
world and we’ll give you something we
think is equal in worth. If you’re a good person
you’ll lose everything really quickly. Then you’ll
really rack up the money.”

The sweetest and prettiest girl of my class
is now married to the insurance selling jock.
She’ll tell you, “Yes. Everything turns out
as cliché and expected and boring as you
ever thought it would.”
They recently rode off from the nice wedding,
to a romantic honeymoon, in a new car that
the people of this town clamor to so they
can put their lips against the wheels…
And it was all payed for by privilege.

And me…. I’m at a piano, buried under a
shivering mountain of books. Tom Waits in my
left hand, Nick Cave in my right. Kurt Cobain’s
suicide note stuck repeating –
words dripping from my lips like melting wax
quarter notes. I was the child that was isolated,
dressed in a perception filter…
You all saw me, but never did because you
just didn’t want to.
And while you were kissing the feet of petty gods,
leaving me alienated on the edge
of a small shit society…
I still loved everyone too fuckin much.

But I am not what I was then.
I’ll come and tell you, “You’re passing over
your chances to have anything of worth,
and you’re so willing to protect everything
that means nothing. What is worth insuring
cannot be insured. You’ll only ever receive
such small and diminishing dispensations;
and if you have anything real in you, those
repayments won’t mean a damn thing.”
I’ll tell you, “Things will only really end up how
you determine them to be or how you decide
to let them become.”

And still, after all this time, you’re scared to
hear me. To even look my way.
So when my foot sets down
on the outskirts of town, the roadway
shakes enough to topple your golden calf.
From there I take back everything you tried
to deprive me of – I drink it all up
like Daniel Day-Lewis with a really long straw.
Every single one of you shudders and coughs, and
I say,
“That’s right. You know who I am.”


Nathan McCool is a member of Blood Into Ink and the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. You can find the haint, dusk, and sizzling of his concrete snares on his blog, Mist of Melancholia.

Author: Sudden Denouement

A Global Literary Collective

12 thoughts on “Ain’t No Prodigal Son- Nathan McCool”

  1. This pierced me
    “And me…. I’m at a piano, buried under a
    shivering mountain of books. Tom Waits in my
    left hand, Nick Cave in my right. Kurt Cobain’s
    suicide note stuck repeating –
    words dripping from my lips like melting wax
    quarter notes. “

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on erichmichaels and commented:
    Ain’t No Prodigal Son by Nathan McCool at Sudden Denouement. You ever read something that just resonates and you’d wish to hell you actually wrote it, instead of the real genius that did? This is that piece and it’s that damn good!

    Liked by 1 person

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