Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hanging Fire by John Drudge

Always waiting
But now for nothing
But the end
Or is it the beginning?
Or maybe I’m waiting
For everything
Maybe just anything
Deep in the core
While hanging fire
Beyond these long days
Of waiting
For something more

John works as a clinical social worker and is the president of a national disability management company. He holds degrees in Social Work, Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services and has studied philosophy extensively.  He is an avid traveler and a long-term student of the martial arts holding a 3rd degree black-belt in Kempo Karate. His diverse educational and experiential background gives him a broad base from which to approach many topics in his poetry. John currently lives with his wife and two children in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Today by Alyssa Trivett

We trolley hop
'round downtown sidewalk squares where all of the
packed at night bars are
empty like a rotted birdcage today,
behind roadblocks where
plastic Barbie furniture makeshift tables soldier in place.
My words rabble roused
but he doesn't seem to mind it.
My wish was to spend
another hour in
the company of him,
and even though
it isn't quite possible today,
I'll cherish the moments
we do have
in the best ways.
A Van Gogh yellow sun
pours down on us as
we trot back to our cars,
record scratching pavement
in worn out soles.

Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from the Midwest. When not working two jobs, she chirps down coffee while scrawling lines. Her work has appeared in many places, but most recently at Ex Ex Lit, and Duane's PoeTree site.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

I love KISS, and Van Halen Too by Steve Passey

Everything you say about Gene and Paul,
good or bad,
is probably true but fuck it man,
no one put a show together like KISS.
You have to remember what the mid 70’s were like.
I was not a kid who liked pina coladas, or getting caught in the rain, or disco.
An hour of AM radio had four ABBA songs,
three Fleetwood Mac,
the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack,
and something called “The Year of the Cat” by some guy no one knew.
You can’t live like that.
Then, Van Halen.
There are only two songs I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard them.
“Running With the Devil” is one of them.
Bigger, louder, badder then anything I’d ever heard before.
That Marshall stack didn’t go to 11 because Van Halen would kill you dead at 10.
We partied, and when we were done,
We partied.
The girls came easy and the beer came cheap.
Well, maybe not the girls,
but the beer for sure,
so we lived on a particular kind of optimism
in regards to the girls.
But I could get knee-walking, snot-hanging drunk on beer,
decent beer
for $20.
You can do that if you‘ve got good music to drink to.
Turn it up loud, brother.
Turn it up louder.
You know that now,
right now,
some poor woman is writing a poem about the Beatles and
she has no friends and
her kids won’t talk to her anymore and
I just feel sorry for her.

Steve Passey is originally from Southern Alberta. He is the author of the short-story collections Forty-Five Minutes of Unstoppable Rock (Tortoise Books, 2017), Cemetery Blackbirds (Secret History Books, 2020), and many other things. He is a Pushcart and best of the Net Nominee and is part of the Editorial Collective at The Black Dog Review.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Colors by Susan Tepper

Tell the secret of your death
before you forget
turning off lights and
sleeping through the best parts
the way a dog sputters then
leaps up happy upon waking—

You saw a lamb
not slaughtered
and other beasts of burden
reminding you of
candy at a fete
The colors—
a burned out garden
no one seemed to notice

Susan Tepper is the author of nine published books of fiction and poetry.  Her most recent titles are CONFESS (poetry published by Cervena Barva Press, 2020) and the road novel WHAT DRIVES MEN (Wilderness House Press, 2019).  Tepper has received many honors and awards.  She’s a native New Yorker.  www.susantepper.com

Friday, June 26, 2020

Word Envy? by Dan Provost

An honest measure
of my worth is
scribbled on dead highways.

Adjectives, failed metaphors
and final song lyrics

All regurgitated…


From the bottom of whiskey bottles.

Words colored in crayon…

Attempted, tried, observed.
jotted, heard—failed.

Seen by maybe five or ten
other searchers who also

looked for faith

No more to be
steepened in awkward

But another paper

Doomed to concede…
Fixer of

Dan Provost has been published throughout the small press for many years.  He is the author of nine books and lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife Laura

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Austin, Texas by Melanie Browne

We laugh at their
pretentious talk
about soda
and expensive
recreational pastimes
You might choose between
dandelion ginger water or
tumeric sparkling saffron
is more to your liking?
There is no
shade from
this brutal sun-
so we hide in
a random
Mexican restaurant,
sip skinny margaritas
and with the hills
surrounding us
pretend we are
in California

Melanie Browne is a poet and fiction writer living in Texas. She has been published in various journals and online literary magazines such as Pulp Metal Magazine. She has also been included in several anthologies, including Zombies Galore and Everyday poets 2.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


 Drifters and other dead men

consume the devil’s soda

during daylight hours

so their rented rooms

won’t seem as ugly

in the darkness

Has the girl at the end of the bar

ever had a poem written for her?

Will anyone ever tell her

it’s not the sum of her scars that matter,

but how she comes back from them?

The recluse drinking alone

wears rust as a second skin

A baker’s dozen of stories

sits written behind his eyes

In a place like this,

non sequiturs and brazen associations

come one whiskey at a time

Michael N. Thompson likes bacon, cats and fantasy football.  His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and San Pedro River Review. He is the author of four poetry collections. Michael’s newest project is his first novel, Sympathy For The Devil. www.michaelnthompson.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

SAKE NIGHTS by Rob Azevedo

stumbling out of an empty saloon
my brain soaked with sake
with fingers covered in red sauce
the watch on my wrist reads two a.m.
but i'm sure it's much later than that
because i'm panicked
my friends have fled
my woman has disappeared
my teeth ache with homesickness
my stomach churns with acid
and the cracks in my knuckles now bleed
with loss
and all i want
is to be poured into a taxi
taken home
but i have no home
i have no woman
no friends
no cash
just an empty saucer
half filled with sake
and a brutal sunrise to catch.

Rob Azevedo, from Manchester, NH, is a writer and radio host with a new booked called "Notes From The Last Breath Farm: A Music Junkies Quest To Be Heard."

Monday, June 22, 2020

1978: The Big Apple Tour. By Mickey J.Corrigan

There's no other way to say it
New York seduced me
with brown bag eyes, the island
lilt, the 42nd street gait, manly
strut and bold
invitation to tourists
let me be your guide.
There's no other way to say it
I allowed the seduction
took the slow Mustang crawl
down gushing streets
hawkers and pickpockets
speedwalkers in suits
grifters, barkers, bankers
men in black with grim smiles.
There's no other way to say this
it was a casual affair
a ride on the ferry
floating statues and claims
of purity and open arms
to the influx, the different
abled, accents and cooking smells
crying babies in churches
with incantations and incense
rules different than at home.
There's no other way to say this
it was a sunk cash fallacy
once I was in his arms
I was in his bed
yellowing sheets damp with sweat
the smell of cheap whiskey
cheaper perfume.
There's just no other way
but to leave in the darkness
clothes in one fist
shoes in the other
glitter spunk on skin
forgetfulness on the tongue.
So here's what I'm saying now:
New York and I
we had a ride.

Originally from Boston, Mickey J.Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Project XX, a satirical novel about a school shooting, was released in 2017 by Salt Publishing in the UK. Newest release is What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, 2019). Kelsay Books recently published the poetry chapbook the disappearing self. Visit at www.mickeyjcorrigan.com. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Duplex by David Spicer

Thirty years ago I rented a duplex.
My neighbors never failed to surprise me.

I never failed to surprise my neighbors.
A yogurt salesman and I played chess all day.

I beat the yogurt salesman every day.
He said, You’re a fucking ayatollah cheat.

I never cheated nor fucked ayotallahs.
Another crew were convicted criminals.

The felons repeated certain convictions:
If you don’t have a bullet scar on your face

You’ll one day face a different scar.
I counted two mean scars above my eyebrows.

Do ugly knife scars above my eyebrows count?
They rent space in the duplex of my face.

David Spicer has published poems in Santa
Clara Review, Synaeresis, The Sheepshead Review, Remington Review, Steam
Ticket, Third Wednesday, CircleStreet, The American Poetry Review,
Ploughshares, Moria, Oyster River Pages, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. Nominated
for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart twice, he is author of six
chapbooks, the latest being Tribe of Two (Seven CirclePress). His second
full-length collection, Waiting for the
Needle Rain, is now available from Hekate Publishing. His website is http://www.davidspicer76.com

Saturday, June 20, 2020

I Carry My Heart. By Jake St. John

I carry
my heart

and beating

inside of
my notebook

pieces on
each page

in poems

Jake St. John spends nights in a fort on the edge of the woods.  He is the author of several collections of poetry including Snow Moon (Holy & Intoxicated Publications, 2019), Lost City Highway (A Jabber Publication, 2019) and Working Man’s Odyssey (Analog Submission Press, 2018). His poems have appeared in print and online journals around the world.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Gasoline Pony by Nicholas Perkins

(a little poem for a great little local bar in Sydney, Australia)

Drinking in
Gasoline Pony,
I am gone to pieces,
shot through in translucent glow,
hoarsey bits of burnt-out verse
smoking ‘tween my lips.

A shy thought
fuelled up
is playful banter,
boisterous coy.
Gasoline Pony is no small toy.

No stubborn drunkeys
nor arching ass,
my little Pony,
she’s the Gas.

Nick lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children. He works in education and has been a primary school principal. With a background that also crosses the Arts, Neuroscience and Behavioural Ecology, poetry is his preferred medium for attempting an integrated approach to personal meaning making.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

After Dark, Before Dawn by Greg Clary

Fifty years ago tonight,
Fourth Avenue in Huntington, West Virginia,
was busy. Drivers circled the block
looking for parking places.
Stores were dark, beer joints were packed.
Carousers filled the streets.

Inside the swank Elephant Walk, a
black bartender named Zola Turner,
resplendent in a white linen jacket,
shook martinis, lit customer’s cigarettes,
swept up loose piles of greenbacks.

The band played:

Tonight, the words Del sang ring true:

Greg Clary is Professor Emeritus of Rehab and Human Services at Clarion University, Clarion Pa.
His poems have appeared in The Watershed Journal and North/South Appalachia.
His photographs have been published in The Sun Magazine, Looking at Appalachia, and The Watershed Journal.
He resides in Sligo, Pennsylvania and is a Son of Turkey Creek, West Virginia

Out-door Dining by Diana Poulos-Lutz

Tonight I'm dining
under the summer's sunset sky,
and I long for discovery,
to knowingly gaze at
the full menu of the universe--
so let me drink the hues
of those ever-changing clouds,
that inspiration du jour,
and I'll be both drunk and grounded
with earthly whimsy.
Let me ingest the scent
of this warm June breeze
and my heart will smile a dream
in a pleasant slumber.
I look across to the empty
seat and no-one is there,
but everything fills me up--
distant laughs, trees rustling,
shadows of birds and flies dancing,
the touch of setting rays on my
bare warming-arms,
a gust of wind twirling my curls.
I draw a ripe strawberry close to my lips
and it's sweetness has been dipped
in the wine of alive-ness, the elegant
growth of the flora beside me,
so quiet it's ascent is never seen.
There is no need for any-thing else,
no banquet set for kings or queens,
no flattering words or alluring gestures,
just a reflection of the sky's depth 
on my water-filled eyes, moist from
the in-between-ness of sadness and joy,
drying from the force 
of a soon-coming solstice
shown on my dinner place setting.
And this even-ing,
what I have is just fine
as I'm out here dining and
with this summer's storied stars.

Diana Poulos-Lutz has a B.A., M.A. in Political Science from Long Island University as well as an MPhil, Master of Philosophy in Politics, from the New School for Social Research.  Diana's poems have recently been featured on media sites such as TheNewVerse.News, the Rye Whiskey Reviewand Pantsuit Nation. She is the 1st place winner of the 2019 Nassau County Poet Laureate Society poetry contest as well as the 1st place winner of the 2019 international Spirit First poetry contest. Diana's poetry is inspired by her deep connection to the natural world, along with her desire to promote equality, mindfulness, and empowerment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Back in my college days
my friends and I
hung out at the Riviera
Lounge on Main Street
drinking beers and gawking 
at the go-go girls
in tight bikinis with sparkles
and thigh high white boots.

Sitting between
tough guys, greasers,
and wannabes
who left us pretty
much alone
after one hard look 
from the bartender,
my friend’s Uncle Vinny, 
who owned the bar
and the small
restaurant next door.

We liked the girls and beer 
so much we brought 
our other friends;
funny how none 
of them ever came
back more than once…

We didn’t understand
until the night
Vinny put some drunk’s
head through the glass
door out front
then told us to get out
before the cops got there

Better to cruise out
to Route 4, 
find a quiet spot,
some pool tables,
cold beer, 
and no blood
on the floor.

We missed the girls,
though, dancing behind
the oval shaped bar
and the cold jolt
of fear you felt
every time you
walked in the door.

MICHAEL MINASSIAN is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual. His short stories and poems have appeared in such journals as Comstock Review, Evening Street Review, Main Street Rag and Poet Lore. His chapbooks include poetry: The Arboriculturist (2010); Chuncheon Journal (2019); and photography: Around the Bend (2017). His poetry collection Time is Not a River was released in 2020.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Alive in the Bed by John Greiner

Alive in the bed
with a cup of green
tea and spiders
who just can't win
we wait
for the reel
to end.
We hide
film freaks
in the closet.
We know Hollywood
is nothing more
than a black
and white photograph.
Harmless fans,
as well as fanatics
are all so gullible.
She talks on the phone
and prays naked
before her great aunt's
She can't live
like a damsel
in the movies
she watches
after midnight.
She's distressed
just thinking
about the woman
she can never be.
I'm confused
by the nature
of her
and all of the things
that she reads
in her tea leaves;
not to mention
these spiders
who are having
a hell of a time
in this room
that's just too clean.
When she looks
over her shoulder
and out the window
she says that she
sees everyone
who is going
the wrong way.
I don't feel right
knowing what
she wants to tell me
when she puts
her ball gag in place.
It used to be easy
to be alive and a fool
who wanted to get
the time kicked
out of his head.
Now we look
through newspapers
for windows
without curtains
revealing rooms
without beds.

John Greiner is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer living in Queens, NY. He was educated at the New School for Social Research.  Greiner's work has appeared in Sand, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Valueand numerous other magazines. His chapbooks, broadsides and collections of poetry and short stories includeTurnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2017), The Laundrymen(Wandering Head Press, 2016), Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press, 2014),Modulation Age (Wandering Head Press, 2012), Shooting Side Glances(ISMs Press, 2011) and Relics From a Hell’s Kitchen Pawn Shop (Ronin Press, 2010). 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

STORY by R.M. Engelhardt

A man
Drifts alone
In a time-
less darkness




He becomes
His own
His own grief
Within a grief




The story
Must go

Are no

There is
No death

R.M. Engelhardt is an American poet and Writer who is the author of several books over the last two decades including Coffee Ass Blues & Other Poems, The Last Cigarette: The Collected Poems of R.M. Engelhardt, The Resurrection Waltz and others. His work has also been published by such journals as Retort, Red Fez, Rusty Truck, Sure! The Charles Bukowski Newsletter, Thunder Sandwich, Fashion For Collapse, 2nd Avenue, The Angry Poet, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Full of Crow, The Outlaw Poetry Network, The Rye Whiskey Review & in many others. His new book of poetry is entitled " Dark Lands" published by Whiskey City Press, 2019.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Early Morning Haiku by Alyssa Trivett

Sun decides to show
up when it wants as birds
chirp battle outside

Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from the Midwest. When not working two jobs, she chirps down coffee while scrawling lines. Her work has appeared in many places, but most recently at Ex Ex Lit, and Duane's PoeTree site.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Double Take by Tony Pena

I’m not one
to experiment
in better living
through chemistry
but whether it be
a kiss, a beer, a thought,
or the hibachi chicken
at the Chinese buffet,
I live in seconds,
chasing my tail
trying to find once
more the magic
of what hit the senses
just right that first time.

Tony Pena was selected as 2017-2018 Poet Laureate for the city of Beacon, New York.  
A new volume of poetry and flash fiction, "Blood and Beats and Rock n Roll," is available now at Amazon.  He also has a self published chapbook, "Opening night in Gehenna."  His publication credits include “Chronogram,”  "Dogzplot,"   "Gutter Eloquence," “Hudson Valley Transmitter,” "Red Fez," "Slipstream,"  "Underground Voices," "Zygote in my Coffee,"  and others. 

Colorful compositions and caterwauling with a couple of chords can be seen at:

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Berlin, 1971 by DAH

As if clinging to the air
some strange holy light
rises as a reflection
on the cobblestone.

Berlin is cold
the canals dull and still
with floating debris
of what’s lost and broken.

Three-am, December’s freeze
makes it hard to feel:
there's a man and woman
without sound, with only kisses.

In deep shadows, a lone woman
fades under the din,
her garments trailing, like kites
diving and darting. Black hair
caught in tangles.

Nobody, not even the rats
groping the trash,
feels these icy words:
it’s coming on Four
I should be sleeping with you

but the grief we cause is useless
so, I’m walking the streets
caught by winter’s undertow,
in need of whiskey, coffee,
a lover’s warm words. 

DAH is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee, and the lead
editor for the poetry critique group, The Lounge. The author of nine books of
poetry, DAH lives in Berkeley, California, and has been teaching yoga to children
in public and private schools since 2005. He is working on his tenth poetry book,
which is due for release in September 2020, from Clare Songbirds Press.   

visit: www.dahlusion.wordpress.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


On waking:
Dry mouth in hot airless bedroom
Bath towel as improvised blackout curtain
Frog-faced reflection in full-length mirror

    First impressions:
Empty tequila bottles on cluttered countertop
Entire wedge of brie reported missing
Beer cans and half-burnt logs in backyard

    Action items:
Resuscitate the self with coffee and sausages
Smoke-saturated bathrobe to be aired on line
Hatchet needed to chop big logs into small pieces

    Dear diary:
‘Never again’ pledges made (said that before)
Confusion - mouth still dry but farts are wet
When did we become pyromaniacs?

J. Archer Avary is a former television journalist, marine conservationist, and champion lionfish hunter. His work has appeared in Bright Flash Literary Review and Guernsey Poets. He was born in Albuquerque, NM and lived in several US cities including Omaha (NE), Milwaukee (WI), Asheville (NC) and Atlanta (GA) before moving to Grand Cayman in 2014. He currently resides in Guernsey with his wife where he is a furloughed aviation worker.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

some forever eternity by Jason Baldinger

he leans out laundromat door
sparks a newport
downs budwiser skyscraper

the world leaves us
wherever the fuck
it feels like

dryer elements burn out
change machines run dry
rivers leak rivulets to sewers

li po is still with us
no shelter, never dry
some forever eternity
deep in bloodshot eyes

Jason Baldinger is a poet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

 A former Writer in Residence at Osage Arts Community, he is co-founder of The Bridge Series.

 He has multiple books available including and Everyone’s Alone Tonight with James Benger (Kung Fu Treachery Press) 

the chapbook Blind Into Leaving (Analog Submission Press) as well as the forthcoming Afterlife is a Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press). His work has been published widely in print journals and online. You can listen to him read his work on Bandcamp and on lps by the bands Theremonster and The Gotobeds.

Monday, June 8, 2020

ATLANTIS ANONYMOUS by Richard E. Brenneman

We drove the clientele to lunacy --
you and I, one night,
when we ordered limeade
at a bar.
“Are you over 21?”
The friendly waitress asked.
“Two limeades, please, no gas
to gas us to
Utopia 1999 or 23 skidoo.”

You and I drove the drunks
to never touch a burning,
stinging drop again.

Wives had driven the drunks
to drink, to drink --
but we, we drove them sober,
and splashed upon them
the midnight ecstasy
of love well-met
from beyond the sunken shores
of ten millenia.

Richard E. Brenneman lives in Boston where he has been more recently published in The Muddy River Poetry Review, The Ibbetson Street Press, and The Nixes Mate Review.
While he has retired from drinking, he does have rich experiences of  social interactions in pubs, bars and the like.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Only Strangers Sleep in my Bed. By Don Robishaw

The green screen-door opens with a creak. 
A fifty-foot mahogany bar hides in a darkened room, 
cigarette-filled ashtrays, 
and overhead fans.

Sweaty patrons stand feet on a brass rail,
and others slump on stools with elbows on the bar.

Ah nothing like the whiff 
of a real drinking man or woman, 
that stench of beer 
and whiskey-laden breaths.
Something can be said 
of men and women 
who know that stench of failure, 
a ring in a card game, lost opportunities, 
that unused scholarship or GI Bill.

Ah, nothing like the sweet 
smell of resignation, 
of not expecting much 
from a disappointing life.

Something can be said 
of men and women 
who go through life with few goals 
other than where’s the next beer coming from.
When am I gonna get laid.  

Double shot of Jameson, in a snifter.   
You got it stranger.

Twelve hours later I roll over, 
flick on a dim night-light 
and shudder at the sight of 
the eyes of a stranger. 

Don Robishaw’s collection of five FF tales found in, ‘Bad Road Ahead’ was the Grand Winner in Defenestrationism, 2020 Flash Fiction Suite Contest.

Don’s short story entitled,’Bad Paper Odyssey’ was a semi-finalist in Digging Through the Fat 2018 Chapbook Contest.

His work has also recently appeared in The Rye Whiskey Review, Drunk Monkeys, Literary Orphans, Crack-the-Spine, FFM, O’ Dark Thirty, among other venues.

Many of the characters he developed have been homeless, served for periods of time in the military, or are based upon archetypes or stereotypes he's met while on the road. He likes to write poetry, satire, tragedies, and gritty fictional tales — of men and women from various backgrounds — that may have sprouted from a seed, from his past.

Before he stopped working to write he ran educational programs for homeless shelters. Don's also well-traveled, using various ways and means: Sailor, Peace Corps Volunteer, bartender, hitchhiker, world traveler, college professor, and circus roustabout.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Love Isn’t About Saving by Angela M. Carter

As my dog lay dying, I didn’t turn away from him,

even though his insides hung outside,
and my father’s hands pulled desperately on my wrists,

Darlin’, don’t look at this. You don’t want to see this.

I stayed

when the truck driver removed his baseball cap,

through my dog’s high-pitched whimpers,

while the crimson river of liquid fire widened
on the soil beneath my praying knees.
I stayed
when he snarled and bared his fangs at me.

Darlin’, nothing else could be done.

It was the first time I’d witnessed my father cry;
the second, for the death of his mother.
I’ve let half of myself die
to see one tear be dedicated to me.

Love is the dying dog;

comforting what you cannot save
while the ivory teeth sink into your tendered hand,
Love isn’t about saving; it’s staying,
As your insides turn out.

         Darlin’, nothing else could be done.

Angela M. Carter is an author, poet, novelist, motivational speaker, spoken word performer, visual artist and an advocate/activist. Her first collection, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body (unbound CONTENT, 2014) is a poetry memoir, which spotlights the effects of the silences endured after abuse, neglect and depression. Angela is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, nominee for the 2015 Virginia Library Literary Award (poetry), and has been featured in a multitude of venues, including The KGB Club in Manhattan and Busboys and Poets. Her publications include Silver Birch Press, Deep Water Literary Journal, Whurk, Vox Poetica, the Plath Poetry Project, Premiere Generation Ink, City Lit Rag, The Word Ocean, Worst Week Ever, Our Stories Untold, Gutsy Living, and several anthology publications. She is an advocate of the healing ability of the arts. www.angelacarterpoetry.com

Friday, June 5, 2020

Jonathan by John Doyle

Leighlin Road, Dublin, 1982-1988

My auntie's front-lawn's
nearing Babylon, 

Jonathan's fingers thus
measure everything, 

a neighbourly kindness - its fertility-levels
tinkered with, 

under wiley-thumb and spindly fingertip, the
chances cocktail-coloured

plants have (prior to pestilence, endless blackness, etc),
a lesser-celebrated tributary underneath, 

often roused in times of flood -
these times are well-known 

among the Sundays 
spent in ornate halls, 

buses primed and loaded, 
with visions of Heaven and Hell.

Jonathan leaves these things 
until Thursdays she says -

days of silence, 
days of police-station visits

occupy his calendar, 
like a section of the bible

we skip 
at mass.

Jonathan is a good boy,
Jonathan does his best.

John Doyle became a Mod again in the summer of 2017 to fight off his impending mid-life crisis; whether this has been a success remains to be seen. He has has two collections published to date, A Stirring at Dusk in 2017, and Songs for Boys Called Wendell Gomez in 2018, both on PSKI's Porch.

He is based in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. All he asks is that you leave your guns at the door and tie up your horses before your enter.


I walked these streets this morning feeling a renewed Sense of understanding as before me people went About their lives in this town where s...