2 new poems by Michael Igoe (October 2022)


You can't always tell                                                                                                                                                 where the future lies.                                                                                                                           We’re in streets                                                                                                                                        paved by alibis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With a witless grace                                                                                                                                          you come to realize,                                                                                                                                                     a future will reflect                                                                                                                                  sharp recall of past.                                                                                                                                   In chained trace,                                                                                                                                          among buildings                                                                                                                                                  of glass and steel,                                                                                                                                     eagerly expecting                                                                                                                                         a howling eureka.                                                                                                                          The sound sustains                                                                                                                                                  in the current light.                                                                                                                                           In growing gaunt,                                                                                                                           cheekbones break,                                                                                                                                                        the hairline silvers.                                                                                                                              Kowtowing at baseline                                                                                                                                        claiming a performance                                                                                                                             defiant at an end of day.                                                                                                                                                                                 But there’s an urge to run                                                                                                                                                      watching what’s awkward.                                                                                                                                   And then you’ll run                                                                                                                                with a hum electric                                                                                                                                                                               Keeping in mind,  
you can't

Dispatch From St. Louis
All of a sudden,                                                                                                                                     it dawned on me,                                                                                                                                         to break the silence.                                                                                                                                               Here’s where rarely                                                                                                                                            we endure a freeze.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ice is going to melt,                                                                                                                                                            on your zany photo.                                                                                                                             The one you taped up,                                                                                                                                                  on back of your stove.                                                                                                                                                  It’s not allowed here,                                                                                                                                     even if it’s piecemeal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Commodes furnished,                                                                                                                                                 with their steel mirror.                                                                                                                                                        My eyes grew narrow                                                                                                                         from high beam lights.                                                                                                                                 After I took to watching    
the Mississippi

A Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase for Michael Igoe (early-mid 2021)

2 poems from Michael Igoe – September 2022 

Last Frontier by Michael Igoe (Prose stories) Last Frontier


2 poems from Michael Igoe – September 2022

from pixabay.com

Boundary Waters

Beyond the Pale                                                                                                                                      no one goes,                                                                                                                                  within or without.                                                                                                                                                  Here it's important                                                                                                                                              in sleep consistent                                                                                                                                            without  presence                                                                                                                                         of a towering idol.                                                                                                                                              The trestles of  viaducts,                                                                                                                                     shelter for working men.                                                                                                                                 Rock salt covers                                                                                                                                                      calloused hands.                                                                                                                                                       As for myself, I require,                                                                                                                                        the birth of every desire.                                                                                                                       Palm print saying                                                                                                                                               I need to wrestle                                                                                                                                                   with all the trees.       

Remittance Man

He plants the rough kiss                                                                                                                                    on the left of her cheek.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       It brings to mind                                                                                                                                         a former motive                                                                                                                               and base moves.                                                                                                                                                                        She gauges intentions                                                                                                                                  out of a pale archway,                                                                                                                                  by her sleight of hand.                                                                                                                                  It's understood                                                                                                                                       why he continues.                                                                                                                                              In the arched smile,                                                                                                                                  warming a window.                                                                                                                                        It’s a great day                                                                                                                                          in the morning.                                                                                                                                       Neither knew                                                                                                                                       she was equal,                                                                                                                                              to expanding sets                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of mere explosion.                                                                                                                                                                       Of good luck aware,                                                                                                                                                         the washstand brings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Where with mascara                                                                                                                                                                           her eyes are opened. 

A Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase for Michael Igoe (early-mid 2021)

Poetry by Michael Igoe: Chaser & In Garnet Light 

Last Frontier by Michael Igoe (Prose stories) Last Frontier

A Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase for Michael Igoe (early-mid 2021)

Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor’s Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.

The Way of A Hero

Certain castes tend to agree                                                                                                                     to own a certain anonymity.                                                                                                                     Though its lessons may sag                                                                                                                           it continues outlining plans.                                                                                                                                It no longer ages,                                                                                                                                               it plays all things                                                                                                                                                                         closer to the vest.                                                                                                                                                     Not extreme,                                                                                                                                            nor exuberant.                                                                                                                                They got that spirit                                                                                                                                                  of cautious departure                                                                                                                              from an ill lit corridor.        

Tunnel Vision  

Using glass eyes                                                                                                                                                    you fill the roles                                                                                                                                                                                             of  missing eyes.                                                                                                                                                                         Both will be judged                                                                                                                                                                                                           by rhythmic method                                                                                                                                                     in older swan songs.                                                                                                                                   Songs of Adam,                                                                                                                                           those from Eve.                                                                                                                                                                One precedes another                                                                                                                               in two separate gardens.                                                                                                                                  We made a decision                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     completely dead set                                                                                                                                               against their slander.

 Human Intervention 

As you entered,                                                                                                                                       you were saying,                                                                                                                                      “We carry baggage                                                                                                                                                from the living years.”                                                                                                                                It’s the meaning                                                                                                                                                      of living in sin.                                                                                                                                                You know I am the one                                                                                                                                                                                             who gave you a cornet.                                                                                                                          But it’s been ages                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      since you played it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You stored in a crate                                                                                                                                       with the grease guns.                                                                                                                                                        Marked as property                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of the Christ Child.                                                                                                                                          Its later posed in secret                                                                                                                                 alongside a steel guitar.         

Think Of it as Fire  

In an everyday season,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am the everready one                                                                                                                                                 to foster blank children.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Made out of spare parts:                                                                                                                         Venus as the little coach                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     who fashions them in mist.                                                                                                                                                      The sense of dread descends                                                                                                                                                       when they continue thriving.    

Part 2
I'm past a barnyard,
that place of slaying.
I will greet there,
blanked children
who all too often
with eyes crossed
fashion phantoms
out of spare parts.
They live certainly
to thrive elsewhere.
A tiny venus as coach
working through mist.


 A rise insea level                                                                                                                                         provides the clue                                                                                                                              to what I missed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A routine discovery,                                                                                                                                    serving weightlessly                                                                                                                                   as due compensation.                                                                                                                                      For an angry era                                                                                                                                      spent in squalor                                                                                                                                      cutting new teeth.                                                                                                                                                 Badness lends meaning,                                                                                                                      to events an angel incurs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Laughing, falling, failing,                                                                                                                                         in courageous retaliation.       

The Stellar Marine              

I'm having much trouble
weeding out streets unfit to walk.
I tread slowly through the snows
of a recent nor'easterner.
as the recent customer
of a bottle of milk, and a dime newspaper.
I see fit to change paths,
past master of the clutch
a recent jamboree of poses behind me.
In a city that boldly confronts the sea
I stop for the traffic's beat
love letters roast in searing flame
outside the radius of wind and shore
stretching to New Bedford.
There, nor'easterners, I guess,
cease in sumps.
I wake up with your presence on me.
I turn over in the starry wind.
To feel my hands, tongue, and feet hush.
They report through lifelines and sinew,
extremities guide them, 
to recesses and removes.
They chalk up casualties.
Drink in each other's frames,
bound in a spiral,
we see the gust tamed
find ourselves without a rancor.
Gusts across water and sky,
equal to the stellar marine.
We cater to friends, they share
the same downward spiral:
to swap proofs and secret messages.    

 Highly Visible

We live it out in an era
with ferris wheel tickets.
We stand under viaducts,
paused in our grim march
toward that other Mayday.
A hope continues
for the secret vial
full of evidence
we look hard for.
Every biblical figure,
smashed to smithereens
roams under arches.
They plant a warm horror
on a rebel girl sunbathing.

A Portrait of Ray

Seems like you touched someone,
right near the heart of the Hun.
Those guesses of yours,
as you entertained crowds;
in vogue, lucky, to entertain half price.
You tame them all to start, downtown;
hypnotized crowds, they all wonder
if they're flesheaters, just like you.
They kept a record: an electric image,
of your smiling shattered teeth
the death' head tattoo you got
one day before you shipped out.
You never look at it closely,
instead you collect tin foil wrappers
from under chrome bumpers
to stage your lavish midway spectacle.
Next time I saw you, same as before,
You had long since confessed to eating flesh
it was the color of the rouge on faces
of women who claimed to love you.
Your eyes, also red, both of us knowing,
the hand really is quicker than the eye.
We're so wary of the moves it takes
to heal scar tissue from wounds in the corridor.
And I rifle through the boxes you left
to slip further along the empty aisles.

Rage Between Equals

Do you remember
all what you said:
the electric guitar
is soon to replace
an automatic rifle.
Interlopers clinched
in the heat of battle,
they find out blindly
about greasy bullets.
Success as the fuse
to sites of extinction.
They saw everything
through rose glasses.
Only beleaguered
by the five senses.
The sound of a note
amplifies on strings
representing itself
as a whiz vibration.
It's faster than
a speeding bullet.       

In Certain Climates

Right over there                                                                                                                                                     there are infants                                                                                                                                               darkly fondled,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      roaring mothers                                                                                                                                          roll on their sides.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trying to console,                                                                                                                                                         but seem sunless,                                                                                                                                drinking together                                                                                                                             balanced droughts                                                                                                                                   of dynamic violence.                                                                                                                            It’s a sped up version                                                                                                                                    of an empty landscape.         


Rumors stymied                                                                                                                                                                        dreams of dying.                                                                                                                                                       Panic laid to rest,                                                                                                                                                                                                                     through mourning.                                                                                                                                                    Over barren fields                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            slight brown hands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       grasp at their allies.                                                                                                                                           Only when unbound                                                                                                                                                    they sweat and suffer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    stripped of vision                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they agreed  to beg.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           They talk it over                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       at off brand meals.                                                                                                                                                 They joined the ranks,                                                                                                                                                                  of a blackened captain                                                                                                                     who believes tobacco,                                                                                                                                                is a cleansing penance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       They go rent rooms                                                                                                                           they’re shared with                                                                                                                                                    former hairdressers   
retired safecrackers.


Underneath a chassis,
a white glove touches
greasy stacks of boxes.
The bullets inside them
spill out on cold ground.
A file of sultry generals
assembles in a building.
In the shape of a Basilica.
Scarved girls
at work within
are busy washing
their china dishes.
To find themselves
not quite so lonely
when dishwashing.

Funeral Lilies

Necessary arrangements
are taking up more time.
Following rigid orders ,
we pick those flowers                                                                                                                  that bloom in skeletons.
Straightening creases,
ones real or imagined.
We read the rumors,
in the gossip column
we put them all down
to a misunderstanding.
Thanks to St. Jude,
for favors granted.
He’s close to the kin,
who perish among us.
But ones assembled,
give him due respect.
It seemed odd,
to think it's sad,
achieving a thrill.
Using only one word
that soothes our soul.
At a hot dog pit
south of 95th
we will arrive
at his funeral.
We meet brazen kings                                                                                                           making no mistakes
about power wielded
A Kansas City woman
calls a broom a rocket.
To match things up
she took a chance
to stand in line
so she can shake
the mayor’s hand.
She sure hoped he’d die
when he stole the election.
They both sit in the grandstands,
between the one eyed vagabonds.

A Quick-9 Interview with Michael Igoe 

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Michael: I started writing at about 15 or 16. I had little interest until then, I was encouraged by a musician buddy to do this. What I was reading was mostly trashy detective stories and horror, sci-fi.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Michael: A lot of what I see and hear is contemporary work- Joy Harjo, Jericho Brown. I still revere the beat poets, especially Corso and Ginberg. Surrealism, Dada, and Symbolists are about as far back as I go. I've heard that "an artist is true to the times." So be it. 

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Michael: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago which is a pretty fabled place for childhood. It definitely had a great influence, at one point I spent a lot of time portraying neighborhoods and people in them. 

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you've done creatively so far?

Michael: I have a few favorites from my own work. One of them is in that great anthology, Avalanches in Poetry 

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Michael: I think because of the way I was brought up I shied away from identifying myself as an artist. It happened by default.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Michael: I study Tai Chi and it has aided me immensely. 

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you'd like to promote?

Michael: No! I send out submissions; that's all. I write for the people I'm with.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from one of your poems or others/Favorite artwork? 

Michael: "Nighthawks" the Hopper painting. I had a reproduction on the wall at college.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Michael: I have to say the late Allen Ginsberg. I corresponded with him for 2 years. I showed up at his Institute in Boulder and met up with him again when he read at Harvard.  









Poetry by Michael Igoe: Chaser & In Garnet Light

photo from pixabay


Much too busy                                                                                                                                                   in the searching                                                                                                                                               for new kinds                                                                                                                                                    of bloodsport.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can’t help but think,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   everything's the same.                                                                                                                                            In exponential panics                                                                                                                           owning to indifference.                                                                                                                                      But who is the mystery guest,                                                                                                                                   traveling on the mystery train.                                                                                                                                     He’s a long distance runner                                                                                                                                                                                                       in dismay while he fox hunts.                                                                                                                               Deep  in the vacant park,                                                                                                                    he lays down on asphalt                                                                                                                                                       he feels its gentle current.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We recognized his many faces                                                                                                                           as the parts of a physical form.                                                                                                              If it happened otherwise                                                                                                                                      we couldn’t know them.

In Garnet Light

If it's garnet light                                                                                                                                                     we’ll be as lucid                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    as we’re tranquil.                                                                                                                                            Like the real name                                                                                                                                                           of our favorite sea                                                                                                                                                      on  moon’s surface.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Through the hole in the roof,                                                                                                                                                   stars gleam by the thousands                                                                                                                                           like the steel on an ax handle.                                                                                                                                                           Feeling bumped from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ever ready cat's paws.                                                                                                                                    Now the diesel howls,                                                                                                                                    demands are known                                                                                                                    for all of its payloads                                                                                                                                           So where were we,                                                                                                                                                                        here with the saint                                                                                                                                 You need to tell Joey,                                                                                                                                                    he's the younger man.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         He just left from church,                                                                                                                                                  one where his head hides                                                                                                                                                 behind the softest stones.                                                                                                                                               It’s the Angel Gabriel                                                                                                                                            he takes as a moniker                                                                                                                                                         the beautiful monster                                                                                                                                          I  will always rely on.                                                                                                                                              The kids at church                                                                                                                                             seem to feel sorry.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “I am really sorry God,                                                                                                                                                                         for whatever I’ve done.”                                                                                                                                God tries to understand.      


Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor's Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Last Frontier by Michael Igoe (Prose stories) Last Frontier

Last Frontier

Franklin Street skitters, unpaved,down past doorways,mostly of saloons. It angles off the business district down to piers and landings.. Then disappears later on the inlet. In mud flats, stretches no one can travel.Every bar has its moonglow; some are strictly Indian, others White. Northern Lights, Red Dog, The Arctic Tap. In November, the freezing rain splashes outside. Rain, all the time.                                                                                                                                                                      Juneau was built on the wrong side of a mountain range.                                                                                                           Hard by the sea, 30 miles of roads connect Juneau. But they’re going nowhere. You need to take a ferry to the Alcan Highway to leave. When you’re ready to leave, that is.                                                                                                                                        Everyday I took my aimless hikes. By tumbledown shacks to the outskirts of town.                                                                          Alone, I passed by Indians. They nodded, or glared. No one here feels morose about rainfall. Because by late September, it’ll all be snowflakes. At times, hail in big pellets. It stays like that till May.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I buy beer and cigarettes in The Arctic. I’m known there by recognition if not by name. Bartender Gus wheels around the floor to his cashbox. Dime pinups and snapshots festoon his mirror.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He asks daily if I’ve found work. I tell him no. I decided a while back not to tell him that I’m not looking.But I don’t mind talking. Sooner or later, I cut off his blue stream of words.                                                                                                                                                                      I’m not someone who says exactly what they think.                                                                                                                                And who is Gus? A haggard Swede in a T-shirt, combat veteran of the Marshall Islands. We spoke the first day I got here. He gave pointers, tips and advice. Ins and outs of Juneau Alaska.  I listened dully, but with due respect.                                                                                                                                                            What my intentions were- that probably crossed his mind. They have changed each day since leaving Seattle. I came here to bust out; make a break:escape.But I never meant to settle down. What I meant was to return to Monica if I could.  Or hope she’d come to me.                                                                         This one intention I didn't want to sell short.                                                                                                                                    When I first got here, the days were growing longer into perpetual night.. I had about 6 months pay in my pocket from a loading dock at the Pike Street Market. In Seattle, where I met Monica. At first glance, she seemed benevolent and wise. Possessed of wisdom that comes from world weary. But she has gaps, fissures you’ll soon discover. She claims to know what’s on your mind- since she has psychic power, and is linked to the supernatural. She claims to know the difference between the things you say and what you’re really thinking.                                                                                                                                                           As for myself, I am a creature of habit. I smoke, drink, and eat red meat. I wake up in the morning and drift to sleep each night.                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was too early to strike out for the Arctic. Last night, I took notice of a blue tattoo scripted on one of Gus’s forearms. Just one word: Sherry.  Never seen that before.                                                                            Tenants liked to socialize in the lobby at the Scandinavian Hotel.  They sipped booze while they played complex chess games.                                                                                                                      I got a room here when I first landed off a ship from Seattle. It was run by a large family of Tlinglit Indians, who really had no clue about English.The oldest daughter took the lead, walking back and forth through a blanket. She spoke broken English though broken teeth.  A voice both lilting and guttural. I learned not to ask this smooth faced girl too many questions. She didn’t know how to answer them. She would laugh and shrug, then wave me off with one arm.                                                                                                                                                                                  The blanket in the doorway was a mottled gray.. It separated the living quarters from the lobby. Every week, I tapped the bell at the bell desk(they did have a bell desk). Money exchanged hands; that’s about it..Smells from cooking. Smoke filled the lobby three times daily.                                                                                                              A portrait of George Washington(you know the one!)hangs on a far wall.
At that moment none of the crowd was in the lobby. I cracked open the quart top and fiddled around with the radio.                                                                                                                                                                                  Why'd I ever get mixed up with Monica? Like, even in the first place? I didn’t like to feel a waning desire. Hers, or mine.And what about all those halfasses back home. Whatever were they after?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Swiveling  around, I took a look at George Washington again. Just to make sure he was still in his frame.                                                                                                                                                                     A rust colored pickup pulled up across the street. Charles was here, one of the lobby regulars. A gimp-legged little guy with a bushy beard. He didn’t stay at the old hotel, but he knew one and all. He wasn’t an Alaskan, another out of state type like me. Charles was from Northern Cal, he wound up in Juneau after weed got legal.  He was a well established ton dealer. They said he had a lot of money. But he dressed like he was down and out.                                                                                    He sat across from me and started to set up his chessboard. Without looking up, he asked, “How’s it going?” I said, “ It’s going.” He finally narrowed his eyes with curiosity. “You know if the old lady catches you with that open bottle, this time she ‘s gonna evict you.”                                                                   I didn’t respond. One of his legs took a jump. He’d messed them up in a car crash.                                                                  
“Are you playing, or no?” He sighed and pushed out the queen’s pawn. After several moves he began bad mouthing Kimbro. An Indian guy upstairs.. One of his small-time customers. He’d seen Kimbro cuffed and whisked out from one of the bars by the State Police. The charge, said Chasrles, was grave robbery. Mutilation of a corpse.  This made sense to me. Kimbro always seemed despondent. He was from a Tlinglit village far in the interior.                                                                           Juneau must be The Big City.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Charles toyed with his white bishop. “Keep your distance from him. He’s no damn good.” “Thanks for the information”, I told him, and resigned from the chess game. I capped the bottle and went upstairs. Opening my room, I noticed the orange coil glow on the hotplate. I’d left it on again.  I lay down in the dark.                                                                                                                                                           I tried not to think about Monica. What a dangerous person. How much did I know about her anyway? If I knew more, I was sure I’d love her less. Drifting to sleep in the afternoon, I thought I heard her talking. “ Your misfit , pissant devils lay in wait. But soon mine will show up.” Then she asked me if I paid rent here, and how. I became confused and mumbled about the light bill.                          
 I woke up startled and knew for certain. I’d clear out of Juneau soon. This hokum about getting her to join me won’t work. I’d get my old job at the Pike Street Market.                                                              
 I didn't feel a thing. It was dark, but that meant nothing at all. Could be night or day. The gas lamps on the piers glittered.                                                                                                                                             I was not quite young in life and had done nothing to speak of. I thought about Kimbro down the hall, with his found collection of rings and neckties taken from coffins.                                                            I had a laugh and turned back to my sleep.

Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor's Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.