BEFORE THE INK WAS DRY
by Kevin Keane

Before The Ink Was Dry

He would take a razor blade from his desk and a make little slit
On his hand and use it as an inkwell
Then signed the letters he so carefully composed to her
Placed them in the mailbox on the side walk
Beneath the elevated train in Cypress Hills so long ago
When he still believed in poetry, still believed her vicious smile

Walked his bicycle along the boardwalk
The seagulls screaming in the terrible wind
Walked  out on the jetty and search for that same starfish
The one washed away when he still believed she read his letters
Signed in blood and sealed with his tongue in that dark building above the street
Where the train no longer woke him as he slept

He no longer used a razor blade for he no longer bled
Signed off one last time with a cheap red pen substitute
And a brief explanation of his betrayal
The creaking of the mailbox never to be heard again
Drowned out by the train overhead
Now taking him beneath the river and gone

Stasis of Soul

Angry like hornets
Your death comes at me
I don’t even cover my face, my thoughts swell
Unlike the hummingbird
With its sweet buzzing that follows my life

Like the geese overhead I cannot reach you
Your death comes at me
I am red, bloated, under water
The sun can no longer burn me
I am sinking past bindle stiff puppets dressed in rags
Bathed in brine

Your death comes at me 
Angry like hornets and sharp as the ice
Forming on my lips
Transparent as the flies’ wings buzzing around this mound of dirt
Comes at me fast and blinds me
Turns me into an unresponsive monolith  
A reeling corpse  

The Lugubrious Mannequin Self Portrait

Late under a velvet sky
Across my bottle neck
Howling
Pumpkin leaves blow and freckle my evening moon
Blinking eyes over the hunchback bough

Lugubrious parasol of emptiness
Crustacean of my look alike
A four cornered yellowing self- portrait under a velvet sky
Across my bottle neck
Howling

Periscope to the evening wilderness
Frozen starfish in rectangular frames
Empty headlights gaze through passages of terrified deer and staggering trees
Leaping over glass monuments in the pumpkin wind
Pumpkin leaves blow
And freckle my evening moon

About the Author:

I was born in New York City and currently live in Arizona in an eighty year old house that I share with two kittens. I am currently working on an autobiographical novel that I hope to finish before I know the ending. I run a small bicycle shop out of my home and build custom bicycles as more of a hobby than an income. Last year, 2018, was the first year I decided to begin submitting my work for publication. I have always considered my poetry a private thing but over time I have come to realize that this is perhaps a selfish assessment of my work. I have been editing several hundred poems over the past two years with the intent to complete a full volume of poetry this year with work that dates as far back as 1976 and up to the present day. I have been heavily inspired by the work of Lorca and Don Van Vliet.

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