Bartholomew Barker

Early Birds

How I hate those poets who rise at dawn
to write a couple hours before work—
Wallace Stevens especially, Emperor of Ice-Cream,
my ass! You’re not the only one with a day job.

And don’t get me started on Ted Kooser,
who should be staying up late in the flatlands
to watch the milky way flow instead of drinking dawn
from a bucket some early bird probably pooped in.

My muse sleeps in a bottle and does not awake
until neon lights buzz. She inspires the moon
and I do her bidding beneath flickering televisions,
whipping a ballpoint to get every last drop.

The only time you’ll see me in the stark morning light
is if I’ve had to walk home drunk and forgotten the way.

Holding On

As the soft skin of your leg
conceals the strength of your thigh,
I lean in close to hear your voice—
quiet as dandelion seeds in autumn
with words powerful as a storm.

Hand in hand, enjoying your perfume,
your mouth and eyes straighten,
no longer curved like the rest of you.
I don’t want to relax my grip
but know I can’t clutch onto my desire
without losing that which I hold most dear.

Yes Man

I was the teacher’s pet
not because of my smarts
but because of my charm,
smooth chocolate compliments
and precision tattling.

I knew which bully to befriend
for much-needed protection
and when to stab him in the back
then upgrade to a bigger model.

There will always be men
who think they’re great
and need little guys,
like me, to confirm
their awesomeness.

~~~

Bartholomew Barker is an organizer of Living Poetry, a collection of poets in the Triangle region of North Carolina. His first poetry collection, Wednesday Night Regular, written in strip clubs, was published in 2013. His second, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, a chapbook of food-inspired poetry was served in 2017. www.bartbarkerpoet.com

Untitled

If you’d like to be featured on The Short of It, click here for the submissions guidelines.

#TheShortofIt

6 thoughts on “Bartholomew Barker

Please share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s