By Jason D. DeHart

Spare a Dollar?

Now here is Mr. Brautigan, sitting
on the sidewalk with his poems scribbled
on fish-papers again.
 
I picture him
in rags, always.
 
He says, I’m the beggar poet
asking you to pay attention
to a syllable, please listen to the way
I wrap a word upon a word,
all in this flimsy paper form.
 
How I taste the twisting of
a tongue upon the timbre of fiction,
tune the ear.
 
Listen close, be advised.
Don’t mind the lingering effect
of vinegar-soaked lunch.
 
We are merely
open mouths looking for someone to kiss
with our observation.
 
It’s all broken lines, wounds repositioned,
a process of trying to procure
a little praise for a line-up of thoughts.
 
A word enters the mind and won’t leave
until we’ve trapped in the light of a blank page,
besmirched the earth again with what we call
our modest gift.
 
Won’t you read upon your pillow?
Upon your windowsill?
On the night you decide to lose it all?
 
Linger for a word, love.
Linger a moment longer,
 
quietly, in this curling letter
with me.

The Price: Found Poem from the News

More lives
a pandemic now appears
            ready to pay.
 
A grim plateau
            despite projections.
 
Shift blame.
Death toll.
 
You have to be
            careful.
 
Infections and forecasts,
escalating the push.
 
Optimistic take
            challenged, point
fingers.
 
See how your state
            stands.

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