Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 9 . . .


     by John Calvin Hughes

Why are there always roses

and moonlight in your poems?

What’s that supposed to be?

It’s not love, I

know that. Lamplight and bedclothes

and beautiful girls in various states

of undress, but they don’t mean anything

and neither do your poems,

flashy and smooth

but empty as drums.

You call yourself a poet,

but look: your eyes are all

blacked up, two fingers

off your left hand.

You look more like a garbage man.

I’ve seen you, rising at noon

to sit at the kitchen table

and pour a handful of brandy

into a short glass.

And I’ve seen you raise

it to the sunlit window, saluting

with absent fingers,

scribbling on yellow pads and laughing.

Then, drinking the brandy,

turning your closed eyes to me,

you say, this is the life.

© 2008 John Calvin Hughes

John Calvin Hughes has published poetry, fiction, and criticism in numerous journals and magazines, and is the author of The Novels and Short Stories of Frederick Barthelme from the Edwin Mellen Press.