Three poems by Karl Koweski

apt 402

I tend to my rectangular plot of sky
adorned with distant pine trees
and a hint of mountain
jet planes make an Etch A Sketch
of the light blue tableau
and I smoke cigarettes
as the sun shifts perspective

this could be some sort of life
a balcony seat to this
theatre of apartment existence
murder behind every door
and television windows
offer mute witness, empty eyes
leaving only the sky
immune to the drama below

there must be an escape
from this domestic retreat
how was I capable of
leaving a family I love
while resisting the need
to quit a job I’m miserable with?
the quick succession of days
leading to a rectangular plot of soil
and a black immutable sky


the puppet adores his strings
and calls every move
he takes

the master manipulates strings
and plots every move

the customer ignores the strings
and applauds every
performance as

a poem for my brother’s father

the booze infused phone call
comes late at night
my brother asks I write
a few poetic lines about our father
so Richie G an
temporarily immortalize
the words on Pete’s forearm
beneath the half-finished angel,
my brother’s tattooed memorial
to a father he vaguely remembers
from his early youth

I haven’t written anything
for close to a year

brother, no angel of the heavenly variety
ever looked favorably upon
the actions of our father
his prayers never extended beyond
the deaf ears of the
patron saint of slow horses and fast women
now twenty years dead and receded
to a navy blue shadow
haloed with a black stocking hat
these vestments of a
custodial monsignor
disillusioned with his path
awaiting lonesome and godless
this cancer stricken eternity
he lorded over nothing more regal
than a pushbroom and mop bucket

look for worse elsewhere, my brother
the only litany I can offer is
look for god elsewhere

we’ve been abandoned by all things

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