Four Poems Inspired by My Not-So-Innocent Childhood in Small Town America


By Vassilis Zambaras


“Bell of the Ball, Raymond, Washington, circa 1950”

Take it from me, sweetie
Way back then, First Street

Was chock-full of taverns,
Booze joints and cathouses,

But nothing to lick
My Whores Galore—

Two suites of tarts
One flight above

Our town’s tastiest
Candy store.


“Big Bang”

The gang was getting pretty itchy—
As they unhitched

Those dazzling diamond-
Studded belts,

She hitched up
That oh so plain Jane skirt

Above her comely head,
Above that heavenly body

The stars

Exploded one by one,
Four studs dropped dead.



curioCity kills Bloody Marys
maraschino cherries Pop guns
gang bangs poontang rat snitches
and Edsel squeals

cathouse beldams melt hams down
dog days nightmares ride hunchbacks
warning lights stop critters peeling
rubber dead in their tracks

cornered but ornery
disembodied vulvas bare back
their teeth like

the Cheshire cat.


“Rancid in Raymond”


On the corner
Of First and Duryea,

I thought he’d gone off
And said

Some foul-mouthed runaway
Kid named Cid took what was left
Of the bacon cross the tracks past Commercial,

And ran he did—

Brought the rich
Taste of it all

Back home to us
Nickel-and-dime bastards I swear

He did.

Vassilis Zambaras

MELIGALAS, GREECE—(Weekly Hubris) 2/14/11—Four poems that have growing up in Raymond, Washington as background; as they are poems, they are nothing more than constructs of my imagination and should not be regarded as anything but that; however, poetic imagination does not exist in a vacuum and as far as these poems are concerned, I should hope they convey something of what it was like growing up “politically incorrect” in such a small but very lively town. Readers are kindly requested to read my column of April 12, 2010, where I give a somewhat clearer and perhaps more truthful picture of what Raymond was like back then.

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Vassilis Zambaras According to such reliable inside sources as The Weekly Hubris’s Publishing-Editor, VazamBam aka Vassilis Zambaras is all of the following, and more, in an order no one can vouchsafe as definitive: a publishing poet who writes every day of his life; a hugely successful father (and a not-so-very-successful local political candidate); a professor of English as a Foreign Language, with portfolio; a Renaissance Man of many skills, useful and not-so; a fount of information about his particular corner of his birth country; an unstable and utterly unique mix of Greek and American, American and Greek; and the man fortunate and wily enough to have made off with Messenia’s loveliest and most talented local daughter as his child bride. Besides being all the aforementioned, other more dubious sources have also reported seeing him hanging out at the corner of—in the guise of a “new old kid on the blog, with an occasional old or new poem written off the old writer’s block.” Author Photo: Pericles Boutos