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Two Poems by Brian Fanelli | Word Riot

March 15, 2010      

Two Poems by Brian Fanelli

In a Club’s Cracked Mirror

I see myself above a puke-stained sink.
My left eye swollen from the punch
I took when a riot erupted
after bouncers shoved fans off the stage.
My lip bloody from the crowd surfer
who kicked the mike into my mouth.

I’d rather be spit on than return
to Simpson, Pennsylvania,
the 3rd shift grind at Bigham’s,
the town’s only all-night diner,
where I cleaned piss and puke
from sinks and toilets
and later went to Chet’s alone
to cup my hands around a beer
beneath the mounted deer head.

I spit blood, dab my fat lip and tell myself,
“Either I take the stage or go back
to nights spent pushing a mop.
Still a dozen shows to go.”

Why I Said No

She waves a ticket stub,
shoves me against a brick wall backstage,
pushes down her shredded Ramones shirt.
Her hands dig for the Sharpie,
tucked in her plaid skirt
held together by safety pins.

“Fuck me against the wall,” she says,
her tongue slipping into my ear.
I close my eyes, think of Angela
back home, her creaky porch swing under the elms,
her head on my shoulder, hair smelling of cigarettes
from the show that night at Café Roach.

I push her away, slip out
the back door to the van,
where she follows, pounds on the windows,
yanks on the door and spits
when I refuse to grope, sign or sing.

About the author:

Brian Fanelli’s poems have recently appeared in Chiron Review, My Favorite Bullet, Blood Lotus, and Breadcrumb Scabs. He currently lives and teaches in Pennsylvania and is finishing his MFA in creative writing at Wilkes University.

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