Mike Faran

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words of power

the pretty blonde girl who volunteered Artwork by Gene McCormick
at the senior center
also wrote poetry &
one afternoon decided to hand out
pages of her typed poems to the
elderly residents.  then she turned off
the t.v.

mrs. baker immediately created an
uproar & waved her cane at the young girl,
calling her a bitch & a

mrs. baker wanted to see the results of the
dna tests,
to know who really made two albino
babies in the dark

so the t.v. went back on &
the pretty blonde girl reclaimed her carefully
written sheets of poetry

her blue eyes had welled-up with tears  -
she had never been called filthy names before

& she thought her poems could enlighten

*   *   *   *   *

years later  -
at a cocktail lounge in east los angeles  -
she sipped a vodka-collins & thought back on
that day

she smiled
knowing that she had to be called those names
because they made her lines strong,
her poems pop like cherries  

Artwork by Gene McCormick

Without a Prayer

My dog, Camus, was
run over last night, killed.
Dead as dirt.

I dragged her dead weight into the
This dead
pregnant pit-bull, white &
peppered with blood.

Damn it to hell!

But she wouldn’t want me to
express remorse,
nor would she had wanted a
nighttime burial  -

that today would be just fine.

So I dug a dog-sized grave in the shade
of the avocado tree &
drank my Saturday beer.

I buried Camus
without ceremony or prayer;
I only permitted myself one indulgence.

I kissed one of her cropped ears  -
an ear full of beauty.                    

Mike Faran is the author of We Go To A Fire (Penury Press) and has appeared in Barbaric Yawp, Homestead, The New Laurel, Iodine, The Main Street Rag, and many others.