A-Line Veniality

By Hank Cherry


So strands of my hair fall into
Into a soda pop can in
A room full of people
Distracting themselves with collapse.

One guy nurses apocalypse
On his chest like others
Would a paperback,
Or a choco Danish.

But the bell ringer is the woman
In the floor length gown, and flip flops.
No matter of my concern.
Body to dress, light to tunnel.

Here we are rumbling through
Depreciated minds.
Our teeth bared from boredom,
Wagons before the fire.

And with us, the magnanimous browser
Of rose tattoo sketches
Permanently clawing down to her
Ankles for none to know.

The fluorescent beam above
Exposing too chewed nails
Gathered nervously around tables where
Coffee and donuts long have ruled.

I swish in her cottony stamp
Of inaccessibility while peacock-y men
Strain to achieve temperance
And leave their eyes socket bound.

No one can complain about it.
She wears this dress the way
Good singers curve their tunes.
But to me, reason is an empty stomach.

In 2006, the year I turned 30, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my BA in English, my fourteen year old daughter was repeatedly attempting suicide and failing in school, and my four-and-a-half year old ADHD twin boys were rapidly being kicked out of every daycare center in the city – all of which was the death knell for my failing marriage. Around this time, I created a MySpace account to stalk my daughter, who, I discovered, had a clandestine account herself. On my profile I listed writing and reading as two of my hobbies and one day I got an invitation to read a blog written by some “author” named Brad Listi. Everyone was an author on MySpace, it seemed. Most of them were trying to sell me something and the ones who weren’t tended to write boring blogs about finance or essential oils or some other subject I had no interest in.

I was, as a matter of course, rejecting nearly every “author” who invited me to read his or her writing – but for some reason, I went ahead and accepted this Brad Listi fella’s invitation.


Look at this earnest face.

Look at this earnest face.