Brenton Booth

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The Young and the Old Poet

I gave him Hunger to
read and he gave me
Fathers and Sons. A
few weeks later he
gave it back and told
me he couldn’t read
it. It brought back
many memories from
when he still wrote:
living week to week
in Kings Cross in a
tiny apartment, thin
as a beggar, writing 
like a madman and
believing that what
he had to say meant
something truly special.
I told him I tried but
couldn’t read Turgenev.
I preferred Hamsun. I
wish I still did too, he
said. And walked away.

How to Beat the Editors

I was drinking at a Artwork by Gene McCormick
strip club because I
couldn’t get in
anywhere else
I was at a table right
at the back that didn’t
have a view of the
a girl in lingerie walked
over and sat on my left
how are you handsome?
want to see me naked?
she said.
I can’t afford it. I wish
I could, I said.
you mean you come in
here without money.
I have enough for
drinks. I am celebrating
getting my first book
published. it has taken
14 years, but finally it
has happened.
why come here then!
just leave! she said
shaking her head and
walking to the next
and I thought about
all those editors rejecting
me for all those years
and ordered another

The Night I Wasn’t Henry Miller

It was 7am and
everyone else had
passed out
or gone to sleep
we had drank enough
between us all
to kill a boat full
of sailors
I sat on the couch
and she had her head
rested on my left
I was stroking her
after a while she
stood up and walked
a few steps
and looked at me
she took off all her
she was really
long dark curly hair
a tiny waist
and big ass
I looked a moment
then looked away
thinking about someone
when I looked back
I saw her fully clothed
walking to a bedroom
she closed the door
but not completely
after a few minutes
I could hear her
I got up and left
though I knew she
was still crying
and knew when I
got home
I would too.

Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia. Over the past few years he has been published in over 150 journals and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry collection, Punching The Teeth From The Sky, is available from Epic Rites Press.