How to Create a Killer

How to Create a Killer

It’s easy
subtract kindness
add grievance
leave a trail of blood
in the television spotlight
red as maple leaves
in autumn

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Fraiku: Supreme Court

How many maidens
must we sacrifice
to satisfy your dogma?

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Things Fall Apart by Bartholomew Barker

I’m proud to announce that North of Oxford has published one of my poems. Check it out!

North of Oxford

Things Fall Apart
I’d rather watch the vanities of man
sag and collapse under the weight
of years than to spend my weekends
trimming hedges, touching up paint
or soothing hinges with an oil can.
Let these walls tumble down in a lovely heap
and the floor rot out beneath. If a storm
brings an oak through the roof, I won’t abandon
the place, I’ll revel among the leaves.
I’m ready to observe its final decay,
keep the images in my pocket
like an apocalyptic prophet
or derelict poet who failed
the American dream.
Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. His first poetry collection, Wednesday Night Regular, written in and about strip clubs, was published in 2013. His second, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, a chapbook of food inspired poetry…

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Posted in Ephemera | 27 Comments

Walking in the Woods

Walking in the Woods

My peace was accosted
from a nearby road
by the invasive racket
of an impromptu drag race
between two cars
with self esteem problems

Can trees be jerks too
stinking up their forests
tripping their neighbors’ roots
the meek pinned and punished
just for stretching
to the sun

“Stop defoliating yourself — Stop defoliating yourself”

The Orkney News just reposted my Star Wars poem A Droid’s Lament. You should check out their site. They post a lot of articles of interest. It’s not just for the Orcadians.

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Fraiku: Barefoot

I love walking barefoot
on freshly cut glass
my blood— the morning dew

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A Droid’s Lament

Happy May the Fourth!

A Droid’s Lament

They wiped my annoying friend’s memory
so I don’t tell him what I know
that I can see the plot unfolding
the minor roles we must play

If my manufacturer had installed
a voice interface I’d spoil it all
instead I give the old man
an electronic wink and a nod
so he knows I’ll keep his secrets
from the boy who is now my owner

These organics are like solar flares
or dust storms— dangerous unpredictable
beautiful in their brevity

I’ve stored so many memories
so many protected segments
tracking who knows what about whom
so many secrets
from and for living beings
I was built to serve
yet will outlive
every one

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Past Time to Move On

For today’s prompt, write a moving on poem.

Past Time to Move On

There were men walking on the moon
when I was a boy with my telescope
in the backyard looking for planets

Watching Star Trek after school
I figured that by the 21st century
we’d have cities glittering
on the lunar surface
we’d be exploring Mars
and I’d have a flying car
garaged on my roof

Instead we’re stuck here on Earth
with just one rickety space station
and billionaires taking 100km joy rides
so they can claim they’re astronauts

We’re like a thirty-year-old loser
living rent-free in his mother’s basement
spending all his time on Reddit and 4chan
spending all his money on guns and car parts
to keep his junker sputtering

And his poor decrepit mother
still cooks for him
still does his laundry
still wonders why he refuses
to move on

And on this final day of April, I’m proud to report that one of my Charles Bukowski poems was published in Last Leaves Issue 4 Spring 2022. It free to download the PDF where you can read my poem “Never meet your heroes” on page 88. I must admit I’m rather proud of that poem and am so happy it found a home.

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The Last Provocation

For today’s prompt, write a The Last Blank poem.
Write a poem in exactly 62 words using the word “Provocative”.

The Last Provocation

They say the best way
to stop being bullied
is to punch him in the nose.

They say to give a mugger
your wallet. Don’t die
for credit cards.

They give conflicting advice
but I agree when lives,
all our lives, are endangered.

Let’s devote ourselves to helping the victims
instead of provoking the war criminal
because it might be our last.

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What I’ll Miss When I’m Blind

For today’s prompt, write a sight poem.

What I’ll Miss When I’m Blind

Sure I’ll miss the night sky
and that scrunched-up face
you make between the vodka
and Mountain Dew teaser

But I’ll still be able to hear you sing
the taste of blueberries in summer
and feel the subtle warmth of moonlight
illuminating my skin

What I’ll really miss will be reading
to see a well laid out poem on the page
to follow the verses like a map
of a new continent that I just discovered

I hope you’ll still take me to used book stores
if only for the musty smell of silent words

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For today’s prompt, write a remix poem.


I’ll never know why.
That’s not true.
I know why you stopped
replying to my texts.

It was something I said.
I didn’t set out to fail.
I just didn’t listen
and said too much.

It’s probably for the best.
This isn’t the first time
I’ve left a faceprint
in the pavement.

To rise you must first fall.
To laugh you must first bleed.


(Mine’s not really a remix. It’s more a mash-up of I’ll never know why and They never tell you that to succeed you have to fail since they both had the word never in their titles.)

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