It’s Strange


It’s strange,

What we can turn ourselves into:

Put yourself on a bender, become an alcoholic—

three days, maybe four.

It’s easy— just a little effort, that’s all it will take.

I’m lucky, I suppose, that it’s just booze:

Imagine what I could do to myself if I really got adventurous?


There’s so much out there to get twisted up in—

Drugs, guns, girls, gangs;

Revolutions, continental drift,

Exotic animal testing and tasting;

The Ice ages, war reenactments, bartending classes;

Time travel, the Butterfly Net Racket, MIA rescue, aquarium diving;

Making movies, the Halloween mask syndicate, the Asian market toilet dash—

The Air Turbulence Temperance League?


So many dangerous occupations—

And all the hazards of just waking up and breathing in.


So, what’s so bad about just sitting in this comfortable chair,

Counting the drinks I’ve had,

Making comets of the songs I sing,

ghost stories of my own history?





It’s a Wonder


It’s a wonder,
how I lived so long without
the sound
of a harmonica and scratching strings
on a slightly out of tune guitar.
It’s a wonder
that it took me so long
to hear the words
buried under the noise of that song
that I always said I hated.
It’s a wonder
how I haven’t started yet
and that I am still here,
drawing circles in a notebook
and tapping my rhythmless fingers
onetwo, onetwo, onetwo—


The tiniest, hollow thud
on a tabletop

could fire off earthquakes
in a silent room,

in a silent house,

that knows nothing at all

about the rhythms of regret.


Andrew LaRaia



Andy LaRaia is a Literature and Writing Teacher in Istanbul, Turkey. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University, where he studied with Richard Bausch and Alan Cheuse.

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