Poetry Drawer: Cheat Sheet: Mister Liberty: Stage Fright: Check, Please!: Totally Rad: Easily Persuaded: Over-Thinking: Bedroom Layout by Ivan Jenson

Cheat Sheet

I think we knew
each other too well
our intimate details
were like close ups
on the big screen
you finished
my sentences
and my fries
yet nobody was
better at lies
and we were
both equal
at tearful alibis
and funny asides
during tickle fights
and just before
we achieved
absolute perfection
like a Russian dancer
there was a defection
you left me for
your oh so

Mister Liberty

You just don’t get me
I’m playing life by ear
by the seat of my pants
with no net
and my beating heart
is the castanet
my flamenco
passions become
the melody of the song
and everything that can
has already gone wrong
but once upon a glass
of cheap Chilean wine
I got drunk with
someone pretty
in the big bad city
and woke up when
I wanted to
because back then
neither mother nature
nor father time
dared tell me
what to do

Stage Fright

I have attempted to
crack the code
break the bank
unravel this mystery
or understand that lecture
while chewing on
some profundity
within the proximity
of someone
who went viral
at the right time
they had the right face
and I have craned my neck
to witness the Sistine Chapel
while some girl named Eve
complimented my
Adam’s apple
and yet I am still
a garden variety dude
fumbling with
a Rubik’s Cube
puzzled by the fact
I am an understudy
in my own play
and lack the talent
to truly act

Check, Please!

Let’s not kid ourselves
the past thirty years
have been a dirty joke
told by a drunk coworker
over a loud jukebox
playing hits from the eighties
in a bar full of the strangers
who attended
the weekend convention
about self-actualization
the contents of which
they have not retained
because the law of attraction
and quantum physics
don’t mean a thing
when you ain’t
got swagger or
an iota of the swing
yet everyone still
expects you
to pick up the bill
when you’re
over the hill

Totally Rad

Sleep next to me
in the cheap motel
of my fogged memory
then in the morning
we can drive up
the Specific Coast
Highway of my
vague vagabond dreams
because I used
to know where I was
on the map
now I can’t put my finger
on exactly what has gone wrong
and find myself relating to
some yacht rock song
because when it came out
everyone I truly loved
was still alive
and arguing over
a trifle or a waffle
in the kitchen
anyway ignore
what I am saying
cause I’m
just bitching

Easily Persuaded

I haven’t yet
captured that illusive
image that one might
hang in a gallery
or museum
but I still have
seen some things
that are permanently
in the trauma centre
of my third eye
and those snap shots
I show nobody
no way, no how
until you demanded
with your sultry eyes
and pouty lips
that I reveal
those secret branded
to you


Look I wish there
was fairy dust
or glitter rain
and that everything
and everywhere
was disco Disneyland
rather than average
everyday last minute
cancelations and
inner Nixon-like
or opaque
like fallen cake
birthday wishes
making you feel
like a kitchen
filled with
dirty dishes
after a party
where love was
once again averted
because you never
even flirted
with the idea
that it will take
someone else
to get you
to step out
of yourself

Bedroom Layout

Yes, she slept with him
and no, you won’t
take her back
into the fold
of your blankets
and your sheets
even if winter
is approaching
and it’s going
to be a bitter one
for the record books
it says so in the
Old Farmer’s Almanac
and it’s time to admit
you have become
such a fuddy-duddy
hypochondriac, insomniac
now that your honey
ain’t never coming back
to your sugar shack
on the wrong side
of the tracks

Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and popular contemporary poet. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled Absolut Jenson for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spirit Museum, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden.  

Jenson’s painting of the “Marlboro Man” was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. Ivan was commissioned to paint the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes. Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson’s poetry is widely published (with over 1000 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson’s poetry was recently published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon.  Marketing Mia has published the hardcover. Ivan Jenson’s new bestselling thriller novels, The Murderess, and his top 4 Amazon UK and US bestselling novel, The Widow, are both now available on Amazon. A new collection of Ivan Jenson’s finest poetry called, Mundane Miracles, will be released worldwide November, 29, 2022.

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