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Dan Denton

Posted in Dan Denton with tags on June 15, 2022 by Scot



One for Those with No Faith

this one is for the 2nd grade teacher
that read my short story for a contest
and laughed about it

it’s for the fourth grade teacher
that said “he’s from East Rudy”
when asked why I couldn’t go
to an advanced class for gifted kids

this one is for the junior high librarian
that said I’d never read as many books
as some other kid-teacher’s pet

this one is for the freshman honors English teacher
that said I didn’t belong
and gave me a “C”
the lowest grade in her class

it’s for the high school literature teacher
that said my poetry wasn’t anything special

it’s for the high school guidance counselor
who tried not to look shocked
when I said I was applying to Northwestern University

it’s for the high school guidance counselor
who’s face said “I told you so”
when I told her
I’d bombed out of community college

this one is for the girl
that chose to date the community college president
of the young republicans club
because he had a brighter future

this one is for the girl
that told me if I lost weight
and got my teeth fixed
she would marry me

this one is for the girls
that married and divorced me
the ones that left me
for better prospects
the ones that told me
that I was a piece of shit
and flushed me away forever

this one is for the lovers
that took and took and took
and were left empty handed
with bitter tears
when I took off

this one is for the ex-girlfriend
that said that she could
write better posts on social media
than I could write poems

this one is for the all the factory workers
that have ever laughed
when they heard
that I was a poet

this one is for everyone
that ever looked past me
or looked at me with eyes
full of dancing mockery
when I was panhandling
for cheeseburgers and wine

this one is for the publishers
or contest judges
that sent my work back
with cookie cutter rejections

this one is for the government housing projects
and addictions
it’s for the alcoholism
and child abusers
it’s for the bipolar II
the ADHD
the O.D.D.
and the O.C.D.
this one is for the motherfucking anxiety

this one is for the ones
that never thought I’d live til 30

this one is for the ones who tried to dismiss me
or un-kiss me
or wished
they’d never met me

this one is to let them all know
their mothers
are still whores
and I’m still here
hanging around
writing another poem



Friday Night Sirens

There’s always
about a payday pocket
fat with hope
that drives a man
to chasing

full moons
in midnight
dive bars




Friday night sirens
in too short skirts
with too thick thighs


in bottles
& syringes

in the arms of
& between the legs of
to be derailed


powder keg lovers
that go together
like cornbread & grease

sweet on Friday nights
full of heartburn
on Saturday mornings



Dan Denton is a writer, union autoworker, and scofflaw. His work has appeared in various newspapers, zines and anthologies, and his first novel $100-A-Week Motel was published last year by Punk Hostage Press. He lives in West Toledo a half block from a junkyard.

Two Poems by Dan Denton

Posted in Dan Denton with tags on March 1, 2021 by Scot

It’s a January Day

it’s the removing
of a fresh blanket
of new snow
every morning

the careful way
you pluck
the windshield wipers
letting them fall
three times
against the glass

it’s the tires
always leaking air
in January
as if tire air
migrates to Florida
for the winter

it’s the 24 years
of kicking snow clumps
off already
too heavy
work boots

the 24 years
of doing two days
worth of work
every day

it’s a life
of only making enough
to get by
a week at a time

it’s an aging pick-up truck
with arthritic brakes
and an engine
in desperate need
of a massage

it’s a tiredness
that rides shotgun
uneven railroad tracks
sleeping streets
ice cold factories

where machines growl
before you’ve even
had time
to warm up



America is Ranch Dressing

America is
Applebee’s margaritas
at 7pm on Tuesday nights

America is
a dollar store
on every
50 cent street corner

America is
a dying
Frisch’s Big Boy
in every neighborhood

America is
rising 2×4 prices
because Wall Street
all the sawmills

America is
Olive Garden wine
and an endless bowl
of pasta

a c-pap machine
with a smartphone app

civil war politics
in local elections

tinder hookups
in a meat grinder

social media
and oxymoron

America is
50,000 dollars
in student loan debt
and no job
to go to

America is
ranch dressing
in your stocking
on Christmas morning