A Place Somewhere

The dream is the same
no matter the night.
There is a light,
weak and blue,
over a country house
where nothing stirs, not even a mouse.

There is a road ahead,
but all souls are in bed.
Except for one—a man in a suit and hat.
Pale as death, abnormally fat.
He stands outside in the dark,
waiting to leave a mark,
but he does nothing
over and over again.

Museum Poem

The echo of feet pound ancient marble.
The lovers wish to be alone.
He drinking in the smell of her;
She caressing the look of him.

There, amidst the curated ruins,
the lovers dance along the balcony,
daring to look down.

What is there in that Grecian courtyard?
Is it Eros?
Or is it Hades come to take them away?

He wants to ask Dante;
She begs Monet.
All stay as silent as the grave.

Winter Buries Them

The snow sticks close
to the window.
No fire inside; ice keeps the door closed.

They’re in there, though,
but only the TV is alive.

Next hour they’ll sleep
and do it all over again,
as winter buries them.

Comfortable Life

Between clean sheets
Take your showers warm
and eggs over easy.

Let it rain away hours.
Coffee-scented books
and soaked toast
protect against the chill.

Her skin is so warm,
and the pillow so soft—
why move?

What is conquest or adventure
next to a five o’clock Sunday?

The Last Southern Draugar

We all fought in the long defeat,
So we took what we could get.
We rolled ourselves into aged caskets
With Allen Tate headstones.
We gambled just to lose.

We have looked into the eyes
Of beautiful Mexican girls
As they washed the blood off of gray trousers.
We have loved in the no man’s land
Of empty Western skies and Hearst’s silver mines.
We took it all and gave some more.

There were times when we had to choose
Between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Many of us let the fog of morning
Become the material of our souls.
Others joined in the holy choir
Marching through Georgia.

Through years of mud and gutter,
Rain in Oklahoma and drought in Tennessee,
We saw the light creep from behind
Spanish moss in Carolina.
We have watched the moon rise over Biloxi.

We have known this old world
Forward, backward, and in between.
So tell the bartender we’ll have another—
One more for the road ahead,
Wherever that may be.


“Winter Buries Them,” “Comfortable Life,” and “The Last Southern Draugar” are excerpts from Benjamin Welton’s new anthology, Sick Inside the Citadel. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.


“A Place Somewhere” is an excerpt from Benjamin Welton’s new poetry chapbook, PANIC. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.