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The Reality Coach

so I'm a hard ass
gruff and blunt
but I don't lie
or prevaricate

why call that mean

truth comes in words
or consequences

would you rather
make a fool of yourself
or have me school you
so you don't

it's up to you
but I already know
there will be
tears and tantrums
either way

give me a hug

and let's get back to work

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
I wrote, posted it, poetic or not
Editing stage: 


to me between the lines it read as "looks are deceptive, don't be fooled by the garnishing but be true to the taste of real substance beneath even when served raw"..did I read it right?

raj (sublime_ocean)

I figured this was so straightforward there could be no between the lines
No poetic devices to obscure or slant it in any way
just says what it says

so anything else is your interpretation, which is cool with me, but i'm not sure what that is

the only clarification I can give is : it's a rhetorical impression/sketch I based on the ubiquitous youtube media star psychologist/ professor Jordan Peterson; a kind of reality coach. He is immensely popular and I respect his views and intelligence and depth, especially on societal issues.

no subtext at all as far as I intended.

let me know if upon re-reading if you see it simply as a coach reprimanding a student for thinking he was mean, and crying over how tough he was being on her/him, but the coach knows the world is an even tougher teacher than he is.


author comment

Spending the weekend with a 7 yr old and a 3 yr old I kinda thought you were referring to a similar scene ...because even though grandpa will spoil the kids he also won’t take any of the bs the kids pull on mom and dad ...not knowing anything about this actual coach I have littleother reference especially with tantrums and hugs. So I guess I was way off ..,
Many of us more mature folks will remember truth or consequences on the black and white tv. Not sure if that was intentional.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

you were not way off
but if you think only little kids throw, where you been hiding
the person that inspired this is kind of irrelevant
He could be any coach, or marine sergeant, or sensei, or grandpa, teaching the ways of the world, knowing the student, or grandchild, will eventually be tossed headlong into it,so he feels obligated to be tough on them...because the world is a tough place.
But, more than occasionally, the student feels the need to rebel at the strictness of his method; hence the tears and tantrums
that's it

I remember the show you spoke of (being slightly more mature then even you) but its title has nothing to do with this



author comment

I too am a fan of straight forward,
been called many things because
of it lol.
I like Peterson as well, very intelligent
but I can't say I agree with everything
he says. Have you seen any of those
videos dedicated to him from "Rationality

Yes, i have seen some of the debunking clips
I am such an anti-theist that anything to do with religion (including Peterson) turns me off
unless discussed in strictly historical perspectives.

as I said in a previous comment here, I respect most of his societal arguments i.e. feminism, gender issues, diversity, apart from the religious ones. He does become more suspect as his religious views start affecting his arguments, but he sure is bright and compelling.

thanks Richard


author comment

Hi Al,
I like the poem alliterations as if your voice is gruff and your truth is rough.
Also I relate to your message very much.
Working with PhD students in the past I witnessed a lot of tantrums. Poor children were raised in overprotactive environment, where positive reinforcement was the only allowed tool.
The main problem of millennials, not leziness but inability to adapt to reality when they finally face it.


at the last moment before posting, I added the last bit..."so, give me a hug, and let's get back to work"
I now don't like it. I don't like pulling my punches, but I did, and now want to edit it out.

How does one harden flabby character?
Throw them into the wild where they either sink or swim?
or by the fury and fire of a tough old drill sergeant?

or should they be left alone and tossed into a safe space with some cookies and milk and repeatedly told they are still special, no matter how flabby their (lack of) inner strength is.

I sometimes feel thankful for being old, and can hand it over to you younger ones to sort out.

thanks for your reflections,


author comment

I like your last line, they add a complexity and a threeD effect to your protagonist.
All the strategies could be used depending on the situation and preferably earlier in life, so I don't see six foot PhD student crying because his reagents went bad. Forgive me for banality but if to act with love and patience the right strategy comes to mind. Thank you for your reply.


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