The Scum Gentry Poetry Hole

Coping Skills

Coping Skills

Matthew Borczon
My special
needs son
is laughed
at and bullied
in school
because when
he gets
upset he
either explodes
into curses
and anger
or he
cries displaying
what his
therapist calls
his emotional
real age
the other
kids find
either response
hilarious and
a distraction
from their
school day
so they
push his
buttons until
the show
begins ...
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The Ghosts

The Ghosts

Mark McConville
I am stepping out of this chaotic room
Struggling to breathe in fresh air
My smoked out lungs like raging bulls
Probably red and pulsating like hearts.
The town looks unfamiliar
They’ve changed the billboards
And the café I used to drink coffee in
Shuttered over, and derelict,
I am saddened by it all
The thin line between greatness and
This town has been brutally masked by food chains
And hopelessness.
I observe all ...
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Hey Bob Dylan

Hey Bob Dylan

William S. Tribell
That I may with all do discretion, make my own slight confession
It was Tennessee in mid-July just because Johnny Cash said so
Whiskey, Johnson City and the right direction to Cumberland Gap
Not to stray, but by-the-way, let me be the first to officially fix that
That is to say, the trucker got high and was going the wrong way
Blunder on the mountain, no peace in the valley, no love tomorrow
Milk white headlights ...
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Reclaiming Solstice

Reclaiming Solstice

Leah Mueller
You won’t take summer
from me again: my
heart a rolled-up carpet,
unwinding and exposed.
I have no choice but to bare
the debris. Some escapes,
pebbles underfoot.
Step on one, then another,
keep my eyes on the wall.
Every June, the vigil
and the bludgeon. July
fruit, rotten in the middle.
That urge towards warmth
pushes back. Part of me
continues to bloom,
fights for it, even ...
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Priti Patel’s Denial

Priti Patel’s Denial

Kevin Higgins
“I just wanted to hear [them] deny it.”
Lyndon Baines Johnson
It is not true that at our meeting today
I forced the Foreign Secretary and
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to bathe
in piping hot custard and gently
scrubbed their backs, bellies, balls
with my bristling, steel wire-brush
until they were strip-loin raw
and roaring to God
for me to stop.
The whole thing was their idea in the first place.
Nor ...
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A Proper Burial

A Proper Burial

Brian Rihlmann
He saw me at the grocery store,
and asked if I was the guy
who used to bartend there
Twenty years ago, and I froze,
then lied, and turned away.
But he knew it was me.
And I’d recognized him too.
For the last week,
I’ve been wondering why.
I don’t think it was him,
but more the presence of the past,
like some impudent
half-rotted zombie
that crawled from its grave
to grasp ...
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