A Pathetic Howl and Other Poems by Richard LeDue

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A Pathetic Howl

The dead poet isn’t looking

at anyone in particular, 

from his book cover tombstone,

and suddenly “The Collected Poems of…”

sounds more like a condolence

than an achievement, and the words

forsakened instead of profound,

so that no one even dogeared any pages

until being saved from ,a thrift store purgatory.

Then there’s poems like this one

that know they’re a pathetic howl

with no moon for inspiration,

nor a metaphorical leash 

to rage against, but empathizes too much

with a stray getting fed once 

out of pity, only to return

over and over again,

hoping for more.

A Millennial’s Love Song

Not the one one asks 

to help move a couch,

but more of someone guilted

into feeding an acquaintance’s goldfish,

yet I’ll find a way to do that poorly,

only to write a poem about it,

and really, what is a poet

without much of an audience

but another rambling derelict

the local sheriff doesn’t care

enough about to kick in the ass

on my way out of town

or even surrender a sigh?

The Religion of the Bedroom

A bed becomes an alter,

while a one word prayer turns darkness

into god’s backside,

but the shut door makes no parable

among dirty socks, who confused feet with souls.

The walls watch like guardian angels,

waiting for their Jimmy Stewart,

instead of a concerning mole

that once was a harbinger for witchcraft

or the devil’s illegible signature.

Closed curtains with eye tight precision

keep the faith between two between two,

yet there’s also pious aspirations

for not having to peer outside, hoping no one knocks

with the same force as a church bell ending mass.

Richard LeDue (he/him) is the author of nine books of poetry. His work has appeared in the Eunioa Review, Neologism Poetry Journal, Briefly Zine, and other publications, both online and in print. He is also a Best of the Net nominee. His latest book, “It Could Be Worse,” was released from Alien Buddha Press in May 2023.

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