The Boy Ain’t Right
     Paul Serena needs some help. This has been heard many times, echoing throughout the halls of Lansing High School. Why? Well, Paul is well-known throughout
LHS for the many stories dealing with the topic of death he has written. These aren’t typical stories dealing with death. They most frequently involve people dying
spectacularly violent deaths. His most-well known stories are those of the Tumah trilogy. The trilogy is about Arnold Schwarzenegger, who goes about killing people left and right, with no provocation, other than he thinks that he doesn’t have a tumor, while everyone else seems to notice it. However, this is a poetry unit we’re on, so I’ll be analyzing his haiku.

     Paul’s’ haiku are quite similar to his stories, in that they deal with things in a humorous, albeit sick and twisted, method. The haiku are short and sweet, about 38 in
number, following the haiku formula of 5-7-5 to the syllable. Paul writes mostly about things that are going on in his life, most specifically what annoys him. For instance, in “Sibling Conflict,” he bashes his sister’s head in with a brick. The reason behind this is that he hates his sisters, Rachel and Anne. He truly hates them, as they tend to get preferential treatment in his household. True, he tends to call his sisters names which I can’t put in an English paper, but he doesn’t see it that way.

     That’s one of the few specific haiku. Almost all of the rest of the haiku are just general rage, directed at no one in particular. Why somebody would kill off as many people as Paul does, even just in haiku, is a point of curiosity that needs to be satisfied.

     Well, the reason that Paul has such anger and hatred being dealt out in his writing is due to the serious amount of, for lack of a better word, crap that Paul has had dealt to him throughout his life.

     See, life has not been kind to Paul. People tend to treat him in an unkind manner due to the fact that he’s a short little fella (his appearance has earned him the nickname of “Trollboy” in our little circle of friends) and he has a twsited sense of humor. People at LHS make fun of Paul, and he doesn’t have any way to fight back except in his stories, because he’s nothing but skin and bones. He’s also been treated unkindly by the female contingent of Lansing, mainly because he’s not “hunky,” and also because he writes things like the haiku. Of course, he’s treated badly because of the haiku, and he writes the haiku because he’s treated badly. It’s just a vicious circle.

     Continuing with the theme of mistreatment by humans with uteruses, Paul has not been successful in the matters of the heart. The first girl he cared about dropped him for another guy. This resulted in the poem, “Heart’s Black Rage.” This poem was a way for Paul to deal with the anger and rage he was experiencing at the time. He wrote the poem, and felt much better- especially since the poem dealt with Laura, the girl who cast Paul aside, dying in a slow, evilly cruel manner. The poem also resulted in Paul having a long talk with the principal, the girl and her parents, and the school counselor.

     So Paul deals with his problems by taking people in school who annoy him, and ending their lives in one very violent, gruesome manner- in words. Notable methods of execution utilized by Mr. Serena include nukes, acid, having your heart ripped out, fire, and the Unabomber. Quite varied, eh?

     For instance, Paul really does not like the hillbilly/redneck contingent at LHS, so he wrote the haiku “Please Don’t Rape My Sheep.” No death occurs, but the mental image created by “Please use a rubber” is pretty strong (especially if you know the joke “What’s a redneck’s favorite excuse? ‘Really, I was just helping the sheep over the fence.’”). Paul has been harassed numerous times by this group (known for their cries of ‘big dawg!’ as they greet each other in the hallways), because, as he believes, he “can read and doesn’t have to marry his sister.”

     Secondly, Paul doesn’t get the “homie g-funk” people that play Tupac and wear baggy jeans. He has difficulty understanding why they can relate to the LBC and Snoopy Dog Dog (did I get that right?) when they live in a small town in Kansas. His way of dealing with that was to write “Homie,” complete with gangsta-speak- i.e, “Dey’ll busta cap ‘n yo’ ass.”

     So, Paul Serena needs some help, obviously. However, he has never acted out in a violent manner, except on paper. His haiku and stories are his way of dealing with an uncaring world without taking to a clock tower and thinning out the weaker part of the population with a deer rifle. And they’ve earned him a popular following (a small, but rabid one) who eagerly read his stories. It helps a bit to ease the pain of the crap he takes and saves him from acting out in a physical matter- which saves him a bit of physical discomfort, as any time he tends to fight, he also tends to be beaten black and blue.