JD DeHart




They are refugees or hope to be,

Expats living in their own country

Still, searching for some rebellious

New method.

They do not know how.

If everyone listens to the steady

Snakeskin boot tap, they like the melodic

Whine of a pop song, the iridescent twang

Of an electronic guitar.

If everyone else dresses in bright Mediterranean

Colors, they decide to show up in the drab –

The opposite is always true when searching

For a truth your own.



a short black line


Vice Versa


He was slave to his vices,

Slave to the call in his stomach,

Even when the beer burned the back

Of his throat.

Even when the whiskey was gone.

Even when they broke in (his “friends”)

And stole his money.

He worshipped his VCR and its many

Dusty tapes.

The curtains were always askew in his

Tiny mobile home, the lighting always

A little off, like seeing life through an amber

Bottle. Seeing life defeated at a young age,

Then slump further down.



a short black line




The artist must be observed in seasons.

In the fall, it is the smell of age,

The academic with his thesis tucked under

His arm, strolling the walkway.

In the winter, it is melancholy, a stack

Of books beside a cold bed.

In the spring, he has his journal out,

Moved to budding art.

Then the summer is stifling heat

As the rejections pile in, as they call him

A fraud, and he stuffs his work back down

To be dead again in autumn.



a short black line




The midwife is called and so makes

Haste to the small hut, gathered in moonlight,

Where the screams have begun.

Her instruments are ready, her advice

Forming in a small coin on the tip of her

Buzzard tongue.

Where the puffing of breath has already

Started, she will provide a brief balm.

A splash, spasm, multitude of pain,

And a small reptile escapes,

Summoning old Salem charges from the past.


a black line

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