The Rogue Voice


June 01, 2007

Poems for June issue

Play dead

the first time he hit me
(that fat headed fuck)
I was caught unawares
had no time to duck
the first time he yelled
I was not worth his love
(that foul mouthed prick)
and he gave me a shove
the first time he killed me
I recovered much faster
the next time I learned
(that sick sorry bastard)

play dead little lady play
dead to the bad man
play dead for your life
play dead for the mad man

the last time he beat me
(that mean pile of shit)
I gave up all hope
and I cried for a bit
the last time he screamed
I was nothing but trash
(that hate spewing asshole)
and he came at me fast
the last time he killed me
I never returned
the next time .... no next time
(that flesh eating germ)

play dead little lady
play dead 'cause you are
play dead for the bad man
åwho took it too far

—Wendy Williams

A walk up Santa Rosa St.

Here, one cannot expect to find lady Santa Rosa,
stunned on the corner by the clash
of her name and four lanes. But

one learns to expect the sealed indifference,
the cars whooshing past, fierce as boulders
crashing down the lanes. Against hope,

one wishes to expect the swaying metronome
of walkers, whole pilgrimages making a hymn
of their motion up these lanes. Only

one grows to expect some constancy in the wind
of traffic as each is reeled to an anxious shore
and sidewalk cracks branch down the lane.

—Gregory Ellis

Speaking terms

The neighborhood heron
is an odd one. She seems
to peer into the windows
of aging residents

as she waits for gophers
and field mice in a now
rare vacant lot,
then flaps lazily away.

She ignores me as I pass
her on the beach, pretends
to waver between evening

fish harvest and the sad,
laughable small town graffiti
of the concrete tunnel.

—Todd Young

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