Borrowed Trouble: Four Micro-Tributes by Brian Beatty

Read More: A brief interview with Brian Beatty

Borrowed Trouble: Four Micro-Tributes

Roberto Bolaño

The doomed boy dared to tongue kiss
a nine-volt battery instead steals
a book of poems from his local library.

The round off-duty cop working security
with an unlit cigarette hanging out of his mouth
rises at his station too winded to give chase.

“Guess you win again, Universe,”
the cop huffs, sinking back into his chair.
“I saw in a dream how this ends.”

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Frank Stanford

The crook of the moon
silhouettes the owl
in the tree though not
the snake curled below.

The lukewarm tea
he sips at the barn door
tastes mysteriously

like homemade whiskey.
He chokes down the night

then coughs up God.


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Charles Bukowski

I regret it never
once occurred to me

to turn my short career
as a hospital janitor

the women too distant
to be considered lovers

or those apartments
from hell I called home

into poems
with a paying audience.


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Philip Lamantia

I wake behind
the wheel of a truck
hurtling along
a dirt road

strewn on both sides
with bones
bleached silver
white as the moon.


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Brian Beatty has published four poetry collections: Borrowed Trouble, Dust and Stars: Miniatures (Cholla Needles Press, 2019 and 2018), Brazil, Indiana(Kelsay Books, 2017) and Coyotes I Couldn’t See (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016). 

Read More: A brief interview with Brian Beatty