“Dead End,” “The Penguin Book of Human Verve,” “Passing,” and Other Poems

Dead End I visited my old college roommate, Bryce. Bryce McHatchen. Whatta nice guy! It’s been forty years. Forty. “Count them,” he said, as a…


“1959,” “Replacing Mascots,” “Catgut Ribbons,” and Other Poems

1959 When I was four Robert Lowell declared it the skunk hour. Those waddling stinkers, of which I was one, only less hairy, surely, but just as…


Chemistry

My feet always smell. That’s the problem. My wife says I am running on fumes. She says she is being asphyxiated. She says she is choking. I say……


Worse for Wear

Everything was fine until my parents said I should leave. She’d help me pack my bags as long as I didn’t disturb him. He was too busy shouting until…


“My Favorite Faulkner,” “Honestly,” “Dirty Harry,” and Other Poems

My Favorite Faulkner We’ll meet in Mississippi. Just name the spot. What about Biloxi, Clarksdale, or what would you say to somewhere in…


“Okra Casserole Baked at 350,” “Satchmo Was White,” “Sitting Pretty,” and Other Poems

Okra Casserole Baked at 350 The bald soprano was hiding in the bushes. You better say something or I will. God is watching is not good enough. Tell…


“Public Performances” and “Low and Behold”

Public Performances The news tonight is that there are rioters rioting in the streets of Minneapolis. I go out to see for myself. I see folks on the…


Imperialism

Aswirl in accusations, the noble gentleman fell, as the crowds spat and stomped on his bronzed cadaver. “Pig.” “Beast.” “Monster.” The crowd hurled…


Horse Operas; or, John Wayne in Heat

We live in a time of hero bonuses. There is talk of appreciation pay. At the strip club it is masks on, clothes off. We don’t want the naked ladies…


Shake-Up

If it weren’t for the Constitution, we’d be Iran. If it weren’t for the First Amendment, we’d be China. My friends see themselves as reasonable, they…