Two Poems by John Dorsey

A Fistful of Pie

it was halloween
in old city
as david and i drunkenly skimmed pebbles
across the cobblestone
and looked up to see
a group of middle aged men
waving at us to join the party

being young and stupid
we waited to be buzzed in
and climbed the stairs
toward experience

the owner of the building
was an architect twice my age
who offered me a drink
he said it was his job
to build character
brick by brick
in the hearts
of young men like me

as i looked over at david
he was getting uncomfortably felt up
by a lawyer dressed as a sugar plum fairy
when the single solitary woman there
approached me by the punchbowl
and told me we’d better get going
if we wanted ro remain untouched by time

i placed a bottle of scotch and a pecan pie
in each of my trenchcoat pockets
and motiioned for david
to follow me down the stairs
toward our dorm room
running from the possibilities
of nameless men

a while later
i reached into my pockets
for my keys
forgetting all about the pie
crushed to gooey bits
of crust and baking shrapnel
now covering my fists

looking up at the sky
i thought about how
we’re all dying stars
trying to build character
while searching for beauty
before quietly burning out
in the moonlight.



Singh’s Song

singh had been called a hindu
an arab
a towelhead
a terrorist
decades before the twin towers
ever quivered
and collasped
onto the pavement
and into the pages
of history

he had been born
in the streets
of fresno
driving a cab
almost before he could walk

a sikh
he followed a guru
to center city philadelphia
in search of true human equality

while the rest of the world
followed ronald reagan
through death valley days
and beyond

he would walk into dirty frank’s
on the corner of pine st.
and start singing
after a single beer
as the patrons groaned
and threatened to fight him
on the sidewalk outside
at three in the afternoon
he would plead
with the bartender
to just let him stay
for one more song
on the jukebox

and somehow sarah
came out cheryl i love you
after someone had left
a weathered cheryl teigs calendar
on the backseat of his jitney in 1987
as his face filled with tears
because he knew
equally was too much
to ask for on a sunny day
in a world
where happy hour
rarely comes
for anyone.


2 Responses to “Two Poems by John Dorsey”

  1. I like the second poem and the closing lines of the first poem.

  2. John Dorsey Says:

    Thanks, Al.

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