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Deadly Poems

By Douglas Barricklow

Artwork by Alli Rowe

In the town
poems stand on street corners
gaggling in dangerous groups
swinging chains on steel fists.

Tablesaw poems
whirl like the eye of the dervish
with carbide teeth
cutting inquiring fingers at the knuckle.
Blood sprays an arc
pointing the place where warmth begins.

Poems have to be registered.
Concealed ones take a special permit.
Some can be set to explode at dawn
between the eyes.

It is important to handle carefully
so small movements do not trigger shock waves
flattening trees and poets
in love with the ticking that stops
at midnight.

Never feed a poem or bring one home
to your wife.
You will have to send out
for more bread.

Poems make demands with sign language
holding your children for ransom.
You will be forced to meet a dark bus
and wait while strangers finish talking,
about you.

Published inPoetry


  1. Efraín Efraín

    Wonderful poem, Doug!
    As you I always liked your poetry. Your poems are, for me, enthralling decantaciones of the human experience.
    Regards and abrazos.

  2. Efraín Efraín

    I meant to say “As you KNOW I always liked…”

  3. Jerrold Martisak Jerrold Martisak

    Oh my Doug. That is dripping with irony! Powerful! Thanks so much. Jerry Martisak

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