Poetry/Songs inspired by Leonard Cohen from Benjamin Adair Murphy

Small Florida Towns

I wish I’d filled the car with gas
I wish I’d had a piss
I wish I’d grabbed some coffee
at a place that was well lit
I’m rolling through the swamplands
And there all these signs for Trump
I thank the lord my little girl’s
Too young to know what’s up
I sure don’t want no trouble
Or bad shit to go down
So I’m following the speed limits
Through these small Florida towns

I’ve got miles left to go
But I keep my speed in check
I’m coming to complete stops
When I make a right on red
My plates say New York State
You can see them from miles off
I cross my fingers and say a prayer
Every time I pass a cop
I know they think I’m just
Some sort of Northern hippie clown
So I’m following the speed limits
Through these small Florida towns

Bugs splat my windshield
And I check my mirror often
I blast Tom Petty so they know
We’ve got one thing in common
I wish I could hit the gas
I wish I could put some space
Leave behind these gun shows
And be miles from this place
I’m not sure what these people want
But it ain’t having me around
So I’m following the speed limit
Through these small Florida towns

Yes, I’m following the speed limit
Through these small Florida towns

The World’s Most Profitable Prison

In the world’s most profitable prison
The men have lost their souls
But they’ve keep their arms and legs
They’ve kept their backs and bones
And they still have all their muscles
And they’re held together by skin
And they live the length of their lives
In the world’s most profitable prison

In the world’s most profitable prison
The men are guarded by guns
And they work from dusk till dark
As they move to beat of a slave drum
Their food is mixed with sawdust
And they’re always razor thin
And there’s never an empty prison cell
In the world’s most profitable prison

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Maggs Vibo

Margaret Viboolsittiseri (aka Maggs Vibo) works in print, broadcast, special events, glitch media, and online. She is a contributor for Poem Atlas and has experimental art in the winnow
magazine, Coven Poetry, Ice Floe Press, The Babel Tower Notice Board, ang(st), The Wombwell Rainbow. Recent anthologies include Poem Atlas ‘aww-struck’, Steel Incisors, Fevers of the
Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 (January, 2021) and ‘My teeth don’t chew on shrapnel’: an anthology of poetry by military veterans (Oxford Brookes, 2020). She tweets @maggsvibo
and her website is poemythology.com.

The Hills Have Blindsides by David L O’Nan (poetry)

The Hills Have Blindsides

A flock of hideous birds float through the wind. I feel these crows in shriveled fur,
Their flight, an old man’s crippled slur.
They congregate together
Cross-eyed and angry
To yell from the diaphragm,
Your rebellion is based on ignorance!

These were feathers from the same war. All brewed up and steamed together, Before peace became a relevant idea.
In caskets, they lay
All purpled – in art
Waiting for someone to dance and sing –
With the bells ringing from the heart

After all the diseases sink in their talons Then gnashing and biting begins.
When the prettiest star waves you in
To meet God or the jealousies of all sins, They roll up those hills to see clarity.
The problem in all the darkness
Is not within your peripheral understanding. The hills have blindsides,
When you’re looking for Jesus
When you’re looking for Jesus

“Before the Bridges Fell” by me David L O’Nan Poetry book is out today on Cajun Mutt Press

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!

Fevers of the Mind founder bio: David L O’Nan (WolfPack Contributor)

Also published by Icefloe Press

The Truth About Farewells by Sher Ting

The Truth About Farewells

As you grow older, you realise there are many ways to say goodbye
The eyes that used to meet along the length of an empty
hallway, now averted to admire the distance
The phone that used to ring, now swathed in silence
The smile that used to slip through a sea of faces, now retreated
into an escutcheon of thin-pressed lips

Unfinished sentences, unspoken prose, expired hopes –

You learn that goodbyes never come wrapped
in red and neon on the tail of caution
but show up uninvited at the door

They rarely come in conversations
but in the earth-shattering wordlessness
of a turned back receding into
distance and time;

never live up to expectation
but leave with questions in their wake

and when they arrive, always late, incessantly messy,
you can never make these guests feel at home—
They open every door and trammel through every room,
leave the doors open for the nights

when you’ve strung up
enough courage and even then,

you shake at the sound of their breath,
quiver at the thought of calling them by name
so you trap their whispers in your mind,
in the bitter aftertaste that lingers in your
mouth, the echoes that shake up your thoughts.

There, they resound endlessly till they
have robbed every breath from your lungs, seared
themselves into the pages of your memory

and you learn the hard way that goodbyes are never easy
but the nights—
the nights are the hardest part.

Sher Ting has lived in a land of eternal summer, otherwise known as Singapore, for 19 years before spending the next 5 years in medical school in Australia. She has been published in Trouvaille Review and has work forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Dreich magazine and Door Is A Jar Literary Magazine, among others. She is currently an editor of a creative arts-sharing space, known as INLY Arts.

photo by Tandem X Visuals

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