The Art of Being Liked: A Character Poem

Well, I felt like it had been a while since I’d written a poem. And I was also working out the backstory to my character from The Powers That Be, Franklin.

The two converged, and here we are.

Have a poem about Franklin. In my weird sort of…. Dr. Seuss-ish style.

-bows out-

What’s a kid gotta do in the windy city

If he wants to be liked and cool?

Not the usual thing that people strove for

In the hood under Mafia rule


I got around town, I made a few friends

One big kid by the name of Bad News

Even at ten, he’d made a name for himself

Just not the type I would choose


See, people were scared of him. That wasn’t bad,

And it paid off befriending him too.

But the rep that I wanted had a tad bit more cheering

And less of “oh we’re scared of you”


Franklin: the big cheese, the king of the hill

Yep, that’s what I’d grow up to be.

And just like my mom and Bad News always said:

I had work to do, fame wasn’t free


And work at it I did, day in and day out

Making buddies and charming my school

No one could touch me, or that was the theory

You just can’t get hurt if you’re cool


But apparently some guys were harder to convince

To be friends with nothing but my grin

Some kids wanted candy, some kids wanted cash

And Mom’s budget was awfully thin.


A kid with no money in gangster Chicago

Just can’t make the right kind of connection

And I got that drift, late in an alley at night

Without my friend Baden’s protection


I’ll spare you the blood and the broken-ribbed details

Of how that encounter went.

But basically, kids who thought penniless Frank owed them cash

Thought I couldn’t take a hint.


The next morning, News found me behind a trash bin

Revising my plan to success.

Because now I knew, not everybody was nice

And being nice led to this mess.


But it wasn’t a bad thing I now knew the key.

The secret to owning the world.

And early that morning in that grubby alley

A new Franklin life-plan unfurled.


News picked me up and he dusted me off

And he asked me if I was alright.

I shrugged and he told me that when I felt better

He should really teach me how to fight.


I said: “Thank you friend, but I have a new course now

And I’ll be avoiding this hitch.

See News, you’re a big guy and that’s your advantage.

But me? I’m going to be rich.”


It’s been years since I said that and boy, did it pay

It seems the riches and fame never ends

No one can touch me. And even though I miss one thing,

When you’ve got money, who really needs friends?

Oh also the song that inspired it, while we’re at it.

(why is the picture on that video a fidget spinner? your guess is as good as mine)

Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed! Have a good Thursday!


9 thoughts on “The Art of Being Liked: A Character Poem

  1. I like your little ditty
    I like what it’s about
    A boy’s young growing journey
    His friendship with a lout
    The thing I like the most, though,
    Is that it’s not cliche.
    The boy chose chasing riches
    And threw his friends away 😮

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