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Two Poems – Barrett Warner

Janet Was Right: I Am a Bad Man

It isn’t something
you can fix by swimming sideways.
That was how dolphins made love,
by swimming sideways.
I perfected a kind of one-handed stroke,
the sidearm-butterfly-half wing crawl.
Beach cops blew whistles at me all the time.
I wanted to be a dolphin and to make love
with Janet who sold small town bagels
and sang about Chevy roadsters and Paris,
going sideways across dirt roads,
full of chapter, and verse, and kissing
and Solomon’s modulated radio wave.
One day we found
a dead dolphin swollen in the surf.
Janet stared at the bruised tongue
hanging from the side of its jaw.
What can anyone say?–
mischievous breakers, nets, and hooks?
It was dead. And Janet, bless her,
never asked me why.

Like Bobby Said-Bullet Holes in the Head Resemble Third Eyes.

seeing that much.
I miss Bobby, his lank, his nasal sneer,
his endless song, his garret apartment
where he offered cookies and heroin
and solar night tea steeped by auroras.
Did he love? There was no talk of it.
He wanted me to be happy like him
and crippled with grief but still alive
long past the trauma of everything.
When he saw beauty he spoke poetry
as if t’were a drug and not a role
and crawled under a faucet to shower
before donning his finest Sunday denim.
Off I go, to Theresa’s, I go off.
Where are you, Theresa, and why are you
so angry? What I am trying to say
—Damn it, I heard the gun. Dark hair. Not sure
of his name.

An Aries, Barrett Warner is the author of “My Friend Ken Harvey” (Publishing Genius, 2014) and “Til I’m Blue in the Face” (Tropos, 1994). He is too shy to be an effective teacher, and hence has kept his 25 year grind at race tracks, training farms, and horse nurseries. His other recent writing appears in EntropyConsequence, ChironTishman, and other places.
Both Like Bobby Said-Bullet Holes In The Head Resemble Third Eyes & Janet Was Right: I Am a Bad Man were previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance #011

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