Give me poems—

poems which speak to the heart

and not the head;

whose words roll from the tongue

like water over polished stone;

which say straight out

what they have to say;

whose truth does not lie buried

beneath endless layers

of meaningless metaphor;

poems unlike those

fawned over by the literary elite,

but leave me asking:

What fuckery is this?





Standing in the bathroom,

attempting to text

and pee at the same time,

I dropped my cell phone in the toilet.


In a flash, I saw the phone’s

micro-circuits signing off, one by one,

as I reached down and took hold of

the little urine-soaked rectangle.


And now,

after three days of silence,

no texts, no emails

no help from the ubiquitous Siri,


the phone still buried

in a bowl of Uncle Ben’s long-grain rice,

I wonder who, in truth, has been rescued—

the cell phone or me?



Bad Kitty


He was a bad kitty,

and did not care.


Dining according to the dictates

of his own finicky palate,

he turned up his nose

at all the rest.


Without warning, he would

bite the very hand which fed him,

if that hand strayed where

he deemed it should  not be.


He shat and pissed and wiped his butt

wherever he chose—oriental rug,

litter box or easy chair,

they were all the same to him.


Clueless that he owed us anything,

he slept through the day curled in front

of the big glass door, twitching in the sunlight

as he dreamed his ephemeral, feline dreams.


For he was a bad kitty,

and did not care.



Howard Brown

Howard Brown is a poet and writer who lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Lookout Mountain. His poetry has appeared in Old Hickory Review and Poetry Super Highway. In 2012, he published a book of poetry entitled “The Gossamer Nature of Random Things.” His poem “Pariah” placed first in the poetry division of the 2015 William Faulkner Literary Competition put on by Mississippi’s Tallahatchie Riverfest. He has published short fiction in Louisiana Literature, Extract(s), Gloom Cupboard, F**k Fiction, Crack the Spine, Pulpwood Fiction and Mad Hatter Review (forthcoming).

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