Archive for the Jason Baldinger Category

Three poems by Jason Baldinger

Posted in Jason Baldinger with tags on June 23, 2020 by Scot

the eyes of the world
(for billy wilder’s sunset boulevard)

skip tracers
repo men
and the corpses
at the morgue
sing the tune
st louis blues

hey betty schaffer
you ought been told
william holden is a coward
he’s sidewaysswimming
slippery fuckin’ eel

the eyes of the whole world
knew gloriaswanson
they memorized her matinees
lost everything but her eyes

a microphone drop
shatters depression glass
she never left 1932
a ghostfinds voice
a facesalomecan never forget

three shots
the body slips
staggers into the pool
water turns to blood

shedoesn’t know it
this moment
is the perfect precipice
the moment before
how much was lost

the last second
before crescendo
before lights
everything still
the eyes of the whole world


when hope is on life support

there was planet
on the playground
big and small holes
children pop through
a game of wack-a-mole
the ever-present smell of piss

that planet is gone
no more pisspants
no more brutalist concrete
seventies playgrounds

now people get married here
I’ve been to a couple
mostly because I always know
the exact right time
to play purple rain

tonight, punk rock babies
are taking pictures
of their miata
in the shadow of observatories

a 79 bonneville hangs a left
beeping horns for familiar
faces, time goes out
of focus, it’s 83 perhaps
waiting on my father’s tan
plymouth fury to turn
around the cul de sac
then wheeze into park

that car was a beast
abandoned to three flat tires
forgotten after my father’s death

my mother finally sold
the fury in 86, for a benjamin
seed pods falling into snow
as the tow truck took it away

it was a cold day
off from school
I shoveled snow
drank hot cocoa

the same kind
of mid-eighties winter
day in the rust belt
when hope is on life support
and rockets fall out of the sky



working poor pretend

I didn’t have anything
smaller, so I put a twenty
in the dollar changer
at the laundromat

it rained quarters
nearly a full minute
I was rich during that time
all that silver drained out
over a slot machine eternity

this is working poor pretend

Pooka by Jason Baldinger

Posted in Jason Baldinger with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot

 (for Matt Borczon)

I’ve been doing a piss poor
Jimmy Stewart impersonation
all day, him reading
the first few lines of Howl
I try again as I spark
a joint, hotbox the Silver
Bullet Calivan. Silsbe
reaches for the Van Morrison cd
we play the first track or two
then he says alright let’s get right
to it and plays Almost Independence Day
we talk about all his guttural
moaning, his interjections, his
ejaculations as he sings it’s impossible
to replicate, it’s always overdone
it’s always perfect. Today though
it’s the title track of St Domenic’s Preview
that’s put a nail in my heart, when Van sings
Everyone is determined not to feel each other pain

We have to walk through a cloud
of vapor smoke to get to the coffee shop
upstairs, there are snacks from the
event in the hallway and the barista
seems confused I want both a regular
coffee and a regular tea. Black and black
Borczon is talking about being in the naval reserve
with the Syrian chemical weapons strike his people
are clamoring for answers, there’s a storm
coming, there’s a war about to dawn
I hear your poems now and I think
this is not about what you’ve already seem
this about dread, a premonition of what
you’ll see, what we will all see again
whether live or on the news, in our living rooms
he remembers talking to a group of soldiers
reminding them democracy is something
you fight for, but don’t mistake this as a democracy

Van and the road have me thinking about
America, I was in a house that was a stop
on the Underground Railroad this morning
with this administration, I think more
on the meaning of freedom than I have
before, I see coming wars as good
for business, good for a cabal of
rich white men, they have no concern
for us, for the citizens of an alleged
democracy. I’m in a bar with Stolte,
his lady and Silsbe and there
are paintings of Jimmy Stewart movies
hanging, Stolte is not familiar with Harvey
one of my maternal grandmothers favorite
movies, and now one of mine. It seems
that democracy as we know it is a Pooka



Jason Baldinger has spent a life in odd jobs. Somewhere in time he has traveled the country and wrote a few books