Submissions Flash Fiction Stories Novel Excerpts Poetry Stretching Forms Creative Non-Fiction Reviews Interviews Staff Links Word Riot Press

    3:AM Magazine
    Better Non Sequitur
    Brian Ames
    David Barringer
    Future Tense Publishing
    Jackie Corley
    Scott Bateman
    So New Publishing
...more links

Advertise with us
Six Poems
by Dave Morrison

My 2 minutes are up

Today I want to talk, quickly because I
only have 2 minutes, if one believes the
clock or accepts that I should go upstairs at
7:30, although it doesnít really matter, itís just
dinner and no cigarettes, TV and no
movie, winding down and trying to
identify what is missing without thinking about it, so
I want to talk for 1 minute about the way things
happen, or the way my thoughts happen, which
is the same way that pool balls hit one another when
someone bumps the table, as opposed to when
an excellent trick shooter sends them
cracking off each other and the cushions with purpose; no
thatís not true itís like pool balls being shot out of a
bazooka by a blind man at a huge aquarium filled with
other pool balls, at the top of a spiral staircase is more like it. Yes.
With me itís the ways the music plays in my head Ė it
starts with one song Ė pick one, any song Ė OK, Van
Morrisonís Ball and Chain, which leads to Janis
Joplinís Ball and Chain which leads to Piece of my
Heart, which leads to Merilee Rushís Angel of the
Morning, which leads to Is That All There Is?
(Iím not sure why Ė that one isnít so
obvious Ė it has something to do with that calliope
sound in the bridge, which makes some sort of
mood connection), which leads to Fire by the
Crazy World of Arthur Brown, which leads to
Touch Me by the Doors, which ends with the
Ajax jingle Stronger than Dirt, which makes me wonder
what the hell ever happened to the Man from Glad?
Glad, like Glad All Over? Now itís the Dave Clark 5 to
Petula Clark to Clark Kent to Clark Bar to Baby Ruth to
Baby Please Donít Go to Them to Van Morrison to Ball and Chain.
Love in Vain, Train in Vain, Train kept a Rolliní, Rollin on a
River, Take me to the River, Wrap it up Iíll take it! Hold on
Iím comin! You really got a hold on me, tears of a clown, Everybody
loves a clown, laugh laugh, the Beau Brummelstones, Fred, Wilma,
Barney, Andy Aunt Bea True to your Schoolís Out for Summertime Blues,
Shakin' All Over Now Baby Blue, Badfinger, Bad Company, Bad
Luck Harold Melvin and the Bluenote records, Whatís Wrong with this Picture, Van Morrison, I just want to be your ball and chain.
But hold up, what if ball was supposed to lead to
Reddy Teddy (Öand ball tonight) or Cyrkle (Red Rubber Ball), or
Ball of Confusion, Ball and Biscuit, Ballpark Franks,
Frankie Lymon and the TeenAngel of the Morning, good god, is that Merrilee Rush again? Will it go round in circles?
Will it fly high like a FreeBird bird bird is the word, Papa was a
Rolliní Ooh mau mau?
Now speed it up.
Now have it run 16, 17, 18 hours.

My 2 minutes are up.

My Aneurysm

My aneurysm, if
it comes, will not be a
weak spot in the sidewall of
a bicycle tire, not some tiny leaky
pipe, not a worn out
soda straw.
It will be like the
bolts that blow open
space capsule hatches, sending
a bone panel flipping in the air; a
booby-trap, a landmine, fireworks set off by a
drunk's cigarette; like
an explosion at a paint store, like an
encyclopedia that swallowed a
shark pellet, a grenade in a
toy factory, a piŮata filled with TNT, a
wild, messy
that paints the room in
vibrant colors, some of which will
only show in the
light of the moon.

no problem

Iím uneasy
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím worried
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím afraid
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím filled with doubt
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím tired
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím depressed
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím struggling
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím angry
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím jealous
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím wounded
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím lonely
But Iíve got cigarettes
Iím hanging on
Iíve got cigarettes
I wonít give up
Iíve got cigarettes
Itís always worse than it seems
Iíve got cigarettes
Iíll be OK
Iíve got cigarettes
I am blessed
And Iíve got cigarettes
Everything will be fine
And Iíve got cigarettes
Itís a beautiful day.
Iíve got cigarettes.


Thank you for the hangover.
Thank you for the mysterious transformation that has turned my head into a rusty empty freighter that echoes with the noises of the ghosts that sailed her. Thank you for the dawn-bayou fog that turns light into rainbows, sound into the soundtrack of dreams.
Thank you for the radio, the decent station, and Mississippi Queen by Mountain.
The coffee. Good God, thanks for the coffee, that it is strong and black and not unhealthy or, illegal or shameful.
Thank you for the stubborn grace, the fool-headed optimism that tells me that this will pass, all is well.
Thank you for the wine, born in the city of Hafiz, red as blood, pungent and sour and soothing, just what I needed at that moment. The awakening of the tongue, the bloom of possibility, the understanding of a language I thought I had lost, an insight into something seen only by me.
There was a reason for the wine, and not a dark one. An affirmation, I think. A faith in love, a welcoming of the unknown, a letting go. And while I didnít see your face, I sensed your benevolent presence, and that was more than enough. And the cigarette, lit from a candle, between cupped hands; thank you for that as well.
Thank you for he hundred doors and windows Ė I could swear they had been locked, painted shut, but maybe I had forgot to try them, because they opened for me last night, and the Universes came in and mingled until my room wasnít a room at all, but more like a sturdy boat that moved purposely down a river that joined other rivers, and then the sea. That was nice Ė thank you.
To be able to peer into other times, like lit windows on a dark street; that orchestra in my head that could play roadhouse blues; the telegraph in my heart that clacked out messages from distant friends; good, good, good, almost as good as my Loveís kind eyes, best.

Thank you for everything.
Iíll try not to waste it.

my new Microsoft word document

my blood is carbonated
my spy ring infiltrated
my head is cement setting
my pulse is off track betting
my spine is taffy twisting
my phone number is un-listing
my ears are school bell ringing
my fear is highland flinging
my nostalgia violin playing
my attention bad dog straying
my creative engine idling
my mansion aluminum sidling
my past is termite gnawing
my fantasies break the lawing
my optimism guarded
my soft is slowly harded
my guitar is gently weeping
my basement toxic seeping
my country Ďtis of theeing
my tenor do re mi-ing
my sun is fuck-all flaming
my mad hyena taming
my needle is a-skipping
my insulin is dipping
my rhymes they are not smoothing
my caresses are not soothing
my poem is slowly dying
my Romans crucifying
my compass needle spinning
my end is my beginning.

I Have Decided

I have decided that
I will be a
poet, at least for
the next hour or
I will claim that, I
will sculpt with
my hatchet, I will
craft a crayon
miniature, I
will forgive myself for
trying to catch a
mosquito in a
fifty-five gallon

I will try not to
lie, I will try not to
elaborate or
simplify, I
will try not to

I have fifty minutes

About the author:

© 2011 Word Riot

Advertise with us

Midnight Picnic
a novel by
Nick Antosca


The Suburban Swindle

More about The Suburban Swindle