Archive for the Shawn Pavey Category

Hollow Point by Shawn Pavey

Posted in Shawn Pavey with tags on May 2, 2017 by Scot

Because bullets don’t kill well enough
manufacturers hollow them
to blossom in penetrated flesh
even though last night
10 police officers and two civilians
were shot in Dallas
where five officers died
and the day before, two black men
were shot to death by police officers
on video live-streamed to everyone
even though 100 people in Orlando
were shot while dancing last month
and poor little Tamir Rice
and Trayvon Martin
and Michael Brown
and all the names and all the names
and all the names this poem could be filled with
from Sandy Hook San Bernardino Charleston
Littleton Columbine Ft. Hood
names of innocents
and names of police officers
whose places at dinner tables across America
are empty and empty rooms of soldiers
killed so far from home
and empty beds in Pakistan Afghanistan Syria Iraq
all these names a hollow poem
its endless reams of pages on pages
written in blood that never dries
and is never enough to fill
all the hollow points
hollowing bleeding bodies
these hallowed bodies of the dead


A version of the attached poem first appeared last year in Prompts: A Spontaneous Anthology by West 39 Press.


Poem Starting With a Line From Phil Miller by Shawn Pavey

Posted in Shawn Pavey with tags on April 17, 2017 by Scot


And the Adam’s apple, the vocal chords and tongue,
the crackling voice graveled by whiskey, cigarettes,
and time cannot sing the songs, written so long
ago, now. That stage in the back of the bar? Empty.
That band so distant and estranged for so long.
Guitars lie in their cases, gather dust on stands.
The record, somewhere, buried deep in a box,
its vinyl molding and warped, is filled with dreams
that lie etched in grooves. Place it on a turntable
and listen as a needle fizzes in a rotary
swooshswooshswoosh and a lost voice barely whispers,
“So young so young so young.”

Joel Explains Why My LeSabre Isn’t Ready by Shawn Pavey

Posted in Shawn Pavey with tags on March 11, 2017 by Scot

Oh, hey Shawn.
I ain’t really had a chance
to tear into ‘er yet.
See, my machinist
done lopped e’s thumb off
and he’s a day behind.

God Is On His Way by Shawn Pavey

Posted in Shawn Pavey with tags on January 7, 2017 by Scot

Just got a text from the Almighty.
He’s running a little behind.
He was on his way to your subdivision
to bless you in your five-room,
three-bath abundance because
you are so much in need of divine grace.

Anyway, the heavenly El Camino picked up
a bolt off the road in the sidewall
of the driver’s side rear Firestone
because of all that highway
construction on Interstate 35
and, wouldn’t you know it, his spare was flat, too.

He called triple A and is just waiting for the tow truck.
Oh, he said to tell you that you’ll be fine
but you should have figured that out by now
with your health insurance and 401k balance.

He also mentioned he can’t stay long. Something about Aleppo.

Survival Tips for the Pending Apocalypse by Shawn Pavey

Posted in Shawn Pavey with tags on November 11, 2016 by Scot








Know this: you can survive
on a diet of red beans and rice indefinitely.
Just stock the basement with cases of Texas
Pete Hot Sauce. Plant cabbage and carrots now
for cole slaw because you can’t descend
into full-blown goddamned savagery just yet.
Let some of that garden go to seed and store it all
in a cool, dry space for next year. Load up the larder
with as much white vinegar, vegetable oil,
and black peppercorns as it can hold
because you just can’t trust mayonnaise.
You can crack a peppercorn with a hammer
if the peppermill gives out. Oh.
Stock up on hammers.

Acquire a rooster and some hens
for the back yard and fence that fucker off
high and tight. Don’t be cheap with
the razor wire, which can be found at any
black site CIA prison or bad neighborhood
title loan shop for next to nothing. Chicken
is good, man, even when the rest of the world ain’t.

Lay in as much cracked corn animal feed
as you can find because chickens got to eat, too,
but save some for yourself.
In a pinch, you can boil and eat that, too.

Stock up on ten penny nails and hundred-dollar bourbon:
nails to fix the shit you know will break
and bourbon to fix the shit you can’t.

Get used to drinking hundred-dollar bourbon.



Shawn Pavey has delivered newspapers, mowed lawns, bagged groceries, cut meat, laid sewer pipe, bussed tables, washed dishes, roofed houses, crunched numbers, rented cars, worked in hotels, worn an apron at Kinko’s, and been paid to write everything from résumés to music reviews. Currently, he earns a living as a Technical Recruiter in Mission, KS where he lives with his fiancée and three worthless but adorable cats. He is the author of Talking to Shadows (2008, Main Street Rag Press) and Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 (2015, Spartan Press), Co-founder and former Associate Editor of The Main Street Rag Literary Journal, and a former board member and officer of The Writers Place, a Kansas City-based literary non-profit. His poems, essays, and journalism appear in a variety of national and regional publications. He’s hosted poetry readings in bars, coffee shops, haunted houses, bookstores, libraries, front porches, seedy motel rooms, and abandoned warehouses. A graduate of the University of North Carolina’s Undergraduate Honors Creative Writing Program, he likes his Tom Waits loud, his bourbon single barrel, and his basketball Carolina Blue.