The Crime of Understanding – David Lohrey

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He tells me Fashion has a purpose.
“You’re not against anything,” I say.
This is part of the problem. People
defend the end of the world, explain
it, like they don’t care. Like if they
understand it, they can control it.

I say denounce it. Call a spade a spade.
Bring back the capacity to object: tell
those boys to keep it down. Tell the
little ones to get dressed. We are losing
our will to power; we’ve given up.
That’s what Voltaire has done.

We’re not born free. We confuse ourselves
with lions. We are born with little.
They put us into cages. Tell your mother
to stick that rattler up her ass. Sucking
on plastic won’t get you anywhere. Get
dressed and stop wearing underwear.

Cry out. Protest your decapitation.
Life is a luxury. Stop playing it cool.
Renounce your throne. Cross the border.
Get yourself declared persona non grata.
Join the Klu Klux Klan. Drop acid.
Drink your own piss. Denounce Elvis.

I’m saying mushroom picking beats all.
Surfing the web is for sissies. Join the Army.
Relive Normandy. America’s falling apart.
They let Columbia crash to save a quarter.
This time around more will perish. The Report
On the End of the Human Race will be in braille.

You know the drill: pounce on these delightful
gifts. And know they will not pounce on you.
Look but don’t touch. They reserve the right
to deny service to anyone. Don’t forget your shoes.
Wear a shirt. Take out the trash. Sharpen your pencils.
One last thing: If you break it, you’ll get to keep it.

David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. In the US, his poems can be found at the RavensPerch, New Orleans Review, Nice Cage, and The Drunken Llama. Internationally, his work appears in journals located in the UK, the Netherlands, India, Malawi, and Hungary. His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo. You can read more of his writing at Writing, Musing, Poetry

Indecent Calculations- David Lohrey

Miss Lion, Miss Lion! I have a question.

Miss Lion, Miss Lion! I have the answer.

The boys raise their hands and hope to be called on.

Miss Lion, however, has something else in mind.

She’s trying to decide which boy to suck off.


Standardized testing creates a lot of stress. English

teachers and their colleagues in geography, Spanish

and arts appreciation all have it easy. Female teachers

of geometry and algebra have fantasies of blowing

their fourteen-year-old male students.


Why this should be so is not easy to explain.

It wasn’t so in my day. Mrs. Mills, I can assure you,

had no such thing on her mind. It’s most definitely

generational. Like their male counterparts in the NFL,

these gals seem determined to take a knee.


Have you noticed it’s always 23-year-old blondes with husbands

who get caught in the front seat with naked adolescents? Or

they bring a couple of teen-agers home for an orgy. They arouse

the boys first by sending naked photos on Instagram. Sooner or later

the pictures wind up on the Principal’s desk.


If you read the New York Post you’ll notice this phenomenon rarely

involves men. Male math teachers seem able to control themselves.

It’s the pretty wives of working class men who seem unable to resist.

What is it about pimply faces and little dicks that attracts these women?

Boredom, no doubt, plays a part. The boys, one assumes, are nervous wrecks.


Is it their innocence or their politeness? “Yes, Miss Lion, whatever

you say.” That must be a turn-on: Their sweet dispositions and their

soft peach fuzz. I can see how the ladies find them charming. All

across America, in cities like Chattanooga and Tulsa, Albuquerque

and Des Moines, Iowa, young female teachers seem desperate.


Interesting, too, how understanding and forgiving our judiciary is.

Men who molest students, male or female, get called perverts and

are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 20 years to life is not

too much for these monsters. But the demure math teacher is forgiven.

She gets a suspended sentence or probation. Cock-sucking is natural.


Teaching provides little satisfaction. Perhaps herein lies the answer.

There is little learning and not much teaching. English teachers can

show movies. The Spanish teacher makes piñatas. In the gym, they play

tag and when nobody is watching, the coaches make the boys do pushups.

It’s the math teacher who wants to pull her hair out when the boys can’t count.


They don’t know their multiplication tables and they forget their calculators.

So, substitutes throw up their hands and offer to help the boys pass sex

education. They gamble away their lives, their good names, and their profession

to have an adolescent cock in their mouths. Who can blame them? This is, in

many instances, all they have to give. Our culture is bankrupt.

David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and he is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. His latest book, The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide, is available on He is also the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing.