Poetry Showcase: Rp Verlaine (May 2023) inspired by Townes, Kerouac & more

Bio: Rp Verlaine lives in New York City. 
He has an MFA in creative writing from City College. 
He taught in New York Public schools for many years. 
His first volume of poetry- Damaged by Dames
& Drinking was published in 2017 and another – Femme Fatales
Movie Starlets & Rockers in 2018. A set of three e-books
titled Lies From The Autobiography vol 1-3 were published from
2018 to 2020.  His latest book, Imagined Indecencies, 
was published in February of 2022. He was nominated for a
pushcart prize in poetry in 2021 and 2022.

                                                       for Jack Kerouac

Too drunk
to find where I was
headed or been.

Coney Island
at the freak show
I find my soul mate. 

Warming up
the stripper takes off
her glasses.

No strings attached
shows you how even bondage
gets complicated

The ashtray tells me
how many cigarettes
I've had since quitting.

finds the thumb
of the hitchhiker

My dance partner
a bottle


We hot wire a car though we are far beyond any false sparks
we may need. We make out between precautions abandoned
and the waiting jail cells promised to us since birth. Cars seem
to stand still, all going 55, too slow to chase us- totally high on meth
and too crazy for redemption. This is our sixth robbery in three
months. Two 7-11cashiers think we’re joking as if we knew how.
And though my nine isn’t loaded, it looks good in her hand. The
last holdup got us some ink in the local papers.

We peel the Chevy Camaro out of the lot , leaving a blue blur
crossing red lights. Out the window, we throw twenties at
the stunned hitchhikers we pass. They'll remember us which
is the point or it isn't. Outside the city limits she wants to play.
Lust interferes our planned getaway to nowhere but what the heck.
She chokes me and laughs, daring me to do it to her harder. The
backseat leaves us bruised but the wine heals our pain.

We stargaze on a hill, sad we don't see a shooting star which
would be just right. Bottle empty when she starts more kissing. 
As flashlights like sabers penetrate our fog. The Sheriff's gun registers
big time. .When she tells him the handcuffs are way too tight, the Sheriff 
smiles and jokes- we thought you'd like that.   

Zero Kickbacks of Love

I should've stayed
clear or seen past
the broken glass
to what it was.

A mix of liquor
both good and bad
taken straight.

Only one of us  
in love paying every day
for zero kickbacks of love.

Watching always
her lovers real and imagined
in the rear view mirror with
face against the reflector.

Driving with nervous
hands on the wheel 
on  those cruel  nights 
when nerves shook me
not knowing where
she was.

Impossible to find
an illusion which was
all she was.

While I relived
stolen moments 
in a nightmare
waking up to
turn on the radio
to hear voices  to
convince me I was
less alone...

Until she
came home 

We ended it
promising to stay out
of each other's lives. 

I do not miss the distress
or being a jester
stripped of the joke
while played with
like a child's toy.

Love covets
its petty tortures
as it does its delights.

Even with her gone
I can't remove 
the  poison  she left
to crawl in my veins.

Loves petty tortures...

Being drunk before noon
again thinking of her,
in an empty bar 
is one of them.

For Townes Van Zandt

Ever laconic, drifting 
on any number of 
limitless booze and pills. 
Hardened self-respect lost 
in mirrors long ago cracked 
for wire thin showman w/ 
ace songs up and down his sleeves. 
A genius too many said 
to be ½ wrong. 
Bittersweet tunes laced 
with the underdog's sad 
eyed look as wistful idealism 
slithered through despair. 
Only 52 at his demise 
the cheap parlor trick of making 
virtuosity disappear. 
He is much missed.
On his birthday, I listen 
to his masterpieces on 
old vinyl they 
were made in that 
just seemed 
to know... 
the odds of winning 
while playing the devil's 
default clauses. 
Where there's no 
such thing as dying 
from natural causes. 

    For Lou Reed

After  ten text messages
state and restate 
your death…
real tears come.
Much later
I let the usual
escapes fail me.
A foreign movie
the wrong company
and drugs no more illicit
now than then
to fuck me up enough to forget
the present is
temporary as
all of us are
to every mirror
that matters…
as fewer and fewer do.
Making memory 
a hostage we
have no ransom for
only counterfeit dreams
cheaper by the day.

Invisible Handcuffs
                  For Nick Cave

“I'm layers of dark
beneath that, she said
is unsettled turbulence.”

Her invisible handcuffs
I ask to loosen
she sets conditions.

Staling all my Ramones
t-shirts, so I'll like
her a fraction less.

Still it's strange to kiss
her tattoos of Nick Cave
on her thighs most nights.

Until thin ice  gives way
to the deep cracks between
each word we speak.

She tells me
she can wear gold in
other places besides
her fingers.

Not a day-walker
avoiding the sun keeps
her pale skin white.

I wonder about 
her with vague

Her eyes tell me
she's a vampire
but her cross tattoo
hints she might be
just going through
a phase.

      For Lou Reed

You were so fearless
  others followed
  asking few questions.

  In high school
  every boy learned to beg
  after watching you walk

   Doe-eyed girls all 
   wanted to be you toteing
   birth control &  voodoo dolls..
   You who called lovers 
   disposable, not that any got
   close enough to argue.

    No one has forgotten
    the night you threw Marcy
    halfway down the stairs
    For calling you a whore
    even if it was true 
    You did fuck her boyfriend
    In a bathroom
    when a party got
    too damned dull.

    Or the time a limo pulled up
    to the club and the driver
    picked you from the rest.
    And you got  400 bucks
    to piss in an old man's mouth
    he didn't touch you- you said.

    For years, you supported
    more musicians than welfare
    by stripping in clubs

   Your drug habits so well known
    tales abound of near arrests and
    spectacular overdoses.

  Yesterday, I learned you have Aids
   that the new drugs can't help you
   nor will friends scarce as hope.

   So I write this -to mark in the wind
   a fragile beauty fallen- wishing only
   you or I- had learned how to pray.

For Marilyn Monroe in Niagara

Not yet the actress-Strasberg's method made her
nor the diva forcing directors to wait for hours.
Nor the legend books would fail to decipher
she is here a presence that somehow towers
over the falls themselves with callow ease
moving as if each false step carries an alibi
beyond a shady past she wants no one to see
through a primal allure of 1/2 smiles and lies.
Her cunning however is undone by wild fear
when she's hunted and becomes the prey
Monroe dazzles as she totally disappears
in the role till her violent end can't be delayed
Hands on her throat her mad husband gasps
“I loved you Rose- You must know that”

                 for Joni Mitchell

please dream of me you said
and i ask what for
when the stillness in my heart
is but an ocean roar
beating for you like 
ocean water into the sand
washing away everything that was
my love will stand 

and where will you be
away somewhere
laughing at me
all too unaware
of the blood in my hands
that ill hardly know
gotten by touching you
thorn of the rose

and when our words are
mere echoes that no longer ring
lost in the confusion and
doubt that strikes deep within
to a truth so uncertain
that it cannot be found
know only this-longing
and you-shall always be bound

and what would you say
nothing i could hear
that wouldnt make me cringe
or reduce me to tears
when your lies and deceptions
are finally exposed
tearing those they embrace
as do thorns of the rose

and when the candles have
all blown out in a fold
and like the starless night
the airs searching and cold
as it looks for a reason
and traces what was
if theres nothing left
there will be my love

and how will i find you
away somewhere
laughing with another
all too unaware
of the blood on my hands
that ill hardly know
gotten by touching you
as do thorns of the rose
yes the blood on my hands
that ill hardly know
gotten by touching you
as do thorns of the rose

Introducing a new print journal dedicated to poetry, writings, art & more inspired by music, artists, movies, and writers “The Whiskey Mule Diner”

The Whiskey Mule Diner Journal will include past blog posts and new submissions sent to us at feversofthemind@gmail.com  

Each issue will include sections dedicated to certain musicians, artists, actors/actresses, writers/poets.   Looking for poetry & other writing styles (prose, sonnets, haiku, essays), artwork (AI artwork works as well), photography, drawings & more.   

With every new submission send a bio & any social media info.  

We do not send rejection e-mails.  If you want to withdraw a poem or have any specific questions regarding what you have sent, please just send us an e-mail at feversofthemind@gmail.com   We do send acceptances however.  Also, for editing/curating reasons we will most likely add a considered piece(s) to the website prior to any print publications.  We are unable to pay contributors.   After an issue comes out pieces could be published on this online blog and will be promoted online as well.    Each contributor will receive a free pdf.  Even the editors have to pay for these issues!   No cover letter needed and please only send in word doc, pdf or in subject of e-mail.
  If you'd like to donate to our PayPal the e-mail for that is also feversofthemind@gmail.com 

The next batch of musical artists we are focusing on will include (but not limited/you are free to send work you've done on other artists/writers as well)  Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Townes Van Zandt   and also we are re-visiting other past subjects we've had on both past print issues and online anthologies that'll be revisited in one of our first issues since we already have some pieces on these    Andy Warhol, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Claude Monet, Jack Kerouac, Langston Hughes, Elliott Smith, Pablo Neruda, Lou Reed, Audrey Hepburn, Prince, Depeche Mode, Elvis Costello, The Dirty Three/Warren Ellis, Marilyn Monroe

Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Blog

we are accepting poetry, prose, sonnets, haiku, artwork (really needed by the way for this type of project) and photography possibly.

*Also coming soon from Fevers of the Mind Print Anthologies Issues 6 The Empath Dies in the End and Issue 7 : Bare Bones Writing II.

A Poetry chapbook from my wife and Co-editor HilLesha O’Nan entitled “Werifesteria”