Archive for the John Dorsey Category

Three Poems by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on June 13, 2022 by Scot

 

 

Her Beautiful Children

peeled away the hard times
she knew the end was about her
she gave rain a steady presence
in the shape of a flat smile.

____________

 

Wet Earth

perfect mountains
rabbits
dogs
memory
the sun jars honey
forever.

____________

 

The Last Builders Walked Away

i see their hands
the shape of stone posts
the porch
long
invisible rosewood.

____________

 

 

 

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2021) and Sundown at the Redneck Carnival, (Spartan Press, 2022).. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on December 1, 2021 by Scot

Painting Flowers with a Closed Fist or The Violent Femmes Are Not a Feminist Group
for becky hernandez

this is not a revolution
you were meant to remember
the words to

overhead the sun looks like a blister
in western pennsylvania in 1985

painting flowers with a closed fist
lacks imagination
& it is no way
to learn
how to dance.

____________

Love Letters for Jana Horn

the mailbox is full of postcards
from hipster boys
& aging dreamers
who just want
to be swallowed whole
by a desert rose.

____________

Poem for Shelby

too young to remember jonbenet
it doesn’t seem creepy to you
to ask for donations
for a baby beauty pageant

$10 here
$5 there
for a twirl
at the baton
of immortality

sometimes there
is nothing uglier
than
hope.

____________

Electra Glide in Blue with David Smith

none of us are out
on that highway alone
love is the only true thing there is
words kicking up dust
in the search for myth
we were in this together
that’s what you never understood

for a moment
you held a dream
that felt real.

____________

Young Man

david
i’m not saying
you were no good
just rotten on the inside
like a bag of sour apples
who left us too young.

____________

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), and Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles, 2021). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

Three Poems by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on May 25, 2021 by Scot

The Prettiest Girl in Dickson, Tennessee

can run her fingers
along the rough edges of a used tire
in the time it takes you
to check for a wedding ring

instead of playing with dolls
or imaginary horses
she fixed cars with her father
until the streetlights came on
until his lungs gave out
in the summer of 93

the wind torn loose from his body
like the seeds of a dandelion in spring

you study her hands
in the right light
everyone seems fragile

like an old tire
swinging from the heart
of a dying oak tree

taking its last breath
burning memories
from the inside out.

____________

 

 

Megan Can’t See the River

blind 6 months after we finished high school
with an illness that gives and takes away
i wonder where you are now
did you ever get to teach a single class
or rest your tired pom poms
along a quiet river bank

these days i take stock of little things
in the morning i write a poem
about making oatmeal
as a tribute
to the days
when there was none

a few words buried
a faded picture
taken by a river
that never existed

a small price to pay
for everything we leave behind

hair flying
out the car window
i close my eyes
& you’re gone.

____________

 

The Ghost of Jacob Johanson

walks into a bowling alley
wearing a flannel
like a portal to 1994

things were simpler then

there were more highways
you could take
to disappear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), and Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Stanford Makes Me Feel Lazy by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on March 4, 2021 by Scot

 

the truth is
i’ve never kissed a girl
along the arkansas river

the dead probably consider
every winter storm
to be spanish fly

this poem should be longer
it knows nothing about generational poverty
it has never been the kind of dog
to chase its own tail
or snap its jaws at fleas
devouring the air
under a sweetgum tree
every spring

it should be made
of stronger bones.

 

Poem for Lester Madden by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey, Uncategorized with tags on August 13, 2020 by Scot

 

even the dead can see the lights from the highway
i imagine you were an olympic swimmer

that you once kissed a girl from zelienople
on a first date at baldinger’s
who had sugar sweet lips

you were a lucky guy
that’s further
than i’ve ever gotten.

Poem by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on February 8, 2020 by Scot

What I’ll Take Away From This Place by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on November 15, 2019 by Scot

 

stepping in a fresh pile of dog shit
on a warm fall morning
has to be a metaphor
for something.

Three Poems by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on August 9, 2019 by Scot

Steve Goldberg Gets Another Death Poem

 

a hummingbird rests its wings
on a container of sun tea
thinking it sees its reflection

maybe found its soulmate
trapped in a mason jar

all kidding aside though
it’s only death.

____________

 

The Way of Dandelions

for Ron Kolm

 

everything is wild here
heavy rain & children
who grow like weeds

the sun on your back

you don’t even have to like it

it’s almost better if you don’t.

 

____________

 

Poem for Sue

 

for a few short hours every week
you helped me forget
about the plastic leg brace
that i had to squeeze
into my right shoe
every morning

helped me work muscles
i’ve let turn to fat
in middle age

the year i turned thirteen
i ran into you
at a pizza parlor
on my birthday
when you told me
you had cancer

it’s your laughter
i hold onto now

good therapy
when i need it most.

 

____________

 

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

 

 

Dying like Dogs by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey on October 7, 2018 by Scot

 

even as a kid
i can remember
that my mother’s sister
could never let go of anything
spending thousands to
to keep a dying german shepherd alive
for a few more months

a beagle for a few more fleeting weeks

& now sitting outside
drinking iced tea
on a warm spring day
my mother says that she
is thinking about making me
the family executor

it’s not because of the cold killer instinct
that i jokingly claim to have
that thing that pennsylvania winters
just seem to instill in you at birth
like having to let your favorite sports teams hopes
go out with the frost

it’s only that my father
is not a labrador

& she is not a teacup poodle
no matter what her latest haircut
might lead you to believe

it’s just that they
don’t want to die
like dogs.

Rodney was Afraid by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags on December 3, 2017 by Scot

Rodney was Afraid

to have a kid
“that’s why i waited so long,” he says
now in his 40s
he points to a framed picture
of his daughter dangling on a loose nail
in the hallway

“she could’ve ended up just like me,”
he says talking about our days
in a classroom for kids with learning disabilities

he tells me she has a real head for numbers

& here he is with a 9th grade education

afraid now that soon
they’ll be coming for our guns

i tell him that the world ended years ago
that they just forgot to tell us

he just laughs

saying “that if custer’s last stand taught us anything,
nobody is getting out of here alive”

the numbers just don’t add up

& here he is making 80 grand a year

driving a fuel truck in the dead of winter

the bones of sunlight
crushed out under his boot soles

just waiting

for someone

to light a match.