Poetry Showcase from Rp Verlaine


A bluster of wind surprises late in the day, 
hours before the sunset and darkening skies. 
A man’s hat becomes an object of some mirth 
as it avoids eager hands with deft, quick moves. 
The owner, angry when a boy stops it with foot, 
brushing it off and blinking, the man says ok, 
no thanks, or anything such, walking away. 
Similarly, in my back pocket is recent verse 
from her from Paris, with a taste of distance 
I could not find when my arms were hers. 
Her return is in doubt, among other things, 
mentioning new friends with a covert leer, 
or is it wild imaginings that make me think 
I am that rolling hat, and her love, the foot. 

For Orion Isaac Feig

As I read of Nero in a cavernous bar
Among lazy drunks with grey murderous eyes, 
who wait for gorged wallets to fall or any coin 
fumbled away to find them ever wanting more. 
I thought of Orion, a poet of that sliding edge, 
which mental illness jostles with savage glee 
leaving him homeless, sleeping like an aroused owl, 
washing off dirt in bar toilets or gas stations 
where a stranger might be kind with dollars 
the gaping holes in his pants would not keep long. 
A street poet, some hacks misnamed him then. 
To me, an emperor of regal vitriolic verse 
who slept nights in parks and alleyways with 
one eye half open that saw the world.

For Jesse

A delight she is— though to be true, 
she is far more than my words can invent. 
Her smile, a joyous thing, always seems new, 
a dazzling miracle with sweet intent. 
Her eyes, clear blue, summon imaginings; 
azure charmed skies so crystal clear and bright 
with summers of sparkle and sweet dreaming, 
which place no fear or dread of coming night. 
Such praise you say is misplaced flattery, 
a rogue's tongue-tied, slipped into illusion 
but to see her laugh, dance, magically 
dispels any such misplaced confusion. 
under the stars in spring's cool lilac breath 
I see her walk to where my dreams are kept. 

Pandemic Nocturne

Just wanting freedom 
from counting days 
lost forever 
The ashtray tells me 
how many cigarettes I’ve had 
since quitting 
while I drown in debt 
like a lifeguard 
rethinking his life. 
An unused plane ticket, 
a lost flight of fantasy, 
reality grounded. 
On Elvis Presley’s birthday 
I shoot blanks at the TV, 
but the pandemic remains... 

Days of Covid-19

During the pandemic 
we all learned 
what prisoners long knew,
living in lockdown 
with keys to our freedom stolen 
by a virus 
we couldn’t see 
or touch, 
yet affected us all 
while we crawled forward. 
Each holiday brought spikes 
of death and infection, 
more promises of vaccines, 
season following season, 
progress catching its breath. 
While politicians lied worse 
than street hookers 
in the confession booth, 
even with most 
of the churches closed. 
Graffiti spreads the lies: 
Masks are fascism! 
Covid is a hoax! 
It was China! 
Trump is God! 
I was careful, 
therefore safe
until I tested positive 
into days of delirium 
and trying to breathe. 
Yet, comedy had a pulse 
with my boss telling me 
how my work had improved 
when I worked at home, 
drunk half of the time. 
A year and a half later 
vaccines are saving lives, 
yet variants pose a threat 
in a future we’ve yet to face 
seeking hope’s mercurial grace. 

3 poems from Rp Verlaine

Bio: Rp Verlaine lives and writes in New York City. He has an MFA in creative writing from City College and taught English in New York public schools until he retired. He has several collections of poetry including Damaged by Dames & Drinking (2017), Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers (2018), and Lies From The Autobiography 1-3 (2018-2020).

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1


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