Poetry Drawer: The Bill: Credo: Greek Snow: Imaginary Borders: Nature’s Revenge: Popcorn for You, Apples for Me: Tom McCarthy by Robert Beveridge

The Bill

Strappy flyby provides
you with the occult
nonsense the Gardener
demands you play,
when your own notebook
is filled with love songs.
Still, there’s nothing
to be done but pick
up the sticks and get
down to business. Tonight
Nairobi, tomorrow, who
knows, but you’ve always
wanted to see Accra.


I believe that people can be like they are in the movies

I believe that there is purity left out there in the world

I believe that some of the girls in the red sports cars are virgins
                           (even if men are driving)

I believe that the wisdom of the dead has its place in the minds of the living

I believe that love can rule a nation

I believe in the future of surrealism

            even if the old lechers never get their women

I believe that god is an erotic being

I believe that Hans Bellmer was a great artist

and polyhymnia help me I believe in the sanity of poetry

Greek Snow

I awoke naked, covered in contusions,
in the middle of the Army/Loyola
halftime show. I carried a bass drum,
but no mallets, and I did not recognize
the song we played, nor could I discern
which team I marched for; everyone else
wore silver spacesuits save the drum major,
decked out in MacLeod of Harris Ancient
with a neon purple sash.

                                          It was no more
than five seconds later the hawk phalanx
screamed groundward from a cloudbank
that looked for all the world like a corncob
that used Thor’s hammer as a cob holder.
This to be sure saved my bacon,
but those in the stands stood as one,
recited the prayer to St. Rita of Cascia
at the top of their lungs, and exited
stage right. With no audience left,
the band quit playing, removed our shakos,
and began to stuff them with predatory lenders.

Imaginary Borders

the mines splay
out under the town
in reverse

Nature’s Revenge
(after Joseph Payne Brennan)

Something with stalk-eyes
creeps from the lake tonight

It asks with those eyes
sad but aware, for food

something crunchy
that won’t turn to jelly
when it bites down

something with a meaty
flavour, perhaps

Popcorn for You, Apples for Me

The smell of cordite in streaks
up to the stars, the only light left
afterimages in the eyes of children.
We drive home bleary with time,
snow, one too many burgers,
try to get the kids into the house
while still asleep. It never works.
We sit on the front step, eyes red,
look up at scattershot stars
in a thousand thousand colours
and tell their stories until
small eyes close once again.

Tom McCarthy

The colours explode
in the matted fur
of what hands
what great beast

slouches trucklike
from the swamps of Bethlehem

the letters
on its license plate

a flag flown upside down

international incommunicado

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Of Rust and Glass, The Museum of Americana, and Quill and Parchment, among others.

You can find more of Robert’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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