The Other Side of This World

By Calvin Forbes b. 1945 Calvin Forbes
Put my glad rags in a cardboard box—
This old jiggerboo never grew mature.
Is everthing in its place except me?
Don’t be surprised; I called all day

And the only person I could reach was
The operator; and it’s a sorry day when
Nothing is coming down but your foot.
And how deep is your stomach cause

That’s how far your heart will fall!
When I’m gone I might come back cause
I’m always forgetting something special.
A crease in my overalls, my collar stiff,

I cried as many tears as I have teeth.
And I only got two in my mouth. Son of the
Sun look out: as you get black you burn.
Is everything in its place except me?

Calvin Forbes, “The Other Side of This World” from Ploughshares (1974).

Source: Ploughshares (1974)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Calvin Forbes b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries

 Calvin  Forbes

Biography

Calvin Forbes grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and attended both the New School for Social Research and Rutgers University. He earned his MFA from Brown University. His collections of poetry include Blue Monday (1974), From the Book of Shine (1979), and The Shine Poems (2001). His work has been anthologized in New Black Voices (1972) and A Century in Two Decades: A Burning Deck Anthology, 1961–81 (1982). Forbes is an associate . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Calvin Forbes

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.