Dave Roskos

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1970s Psych Hospital Visiting Day Poem

i useta visit 
my dad at marlboro
Baba & he & i 
had a picnic once
glass gallon jar
of home made ice tea
& a couple dozen perogies
dad dropped the tea
to the ground 
& it exploded
& Baba cried oh no
don’t ruin this
& dad & i sat on 
a nearby picnic table
& smoked half a joint
that i’d brought
it was either autumn
or spring, a season
of attrition
& transition
i was in 7th or 8th grade
& dad got out not too long
thereafter & went from
manic to depressive
in the 6 months or so
that he awaited sentencing
at home in his room agoraphobic
with the shades drawn

Daily Doggerel

a voice crackled
from the portable
record player.
it was a child’s
record player,
a toy from the
it had a painting
of a cow
jumping over
the moon
above a monkey
cooking a shot
of junk
in a spoon
& a fairy
pouring a pitcher
of milk
on the monkey’s
monkey shot up
& out came
a key.
his face
on his
daily doggerel
on the dime,
10 cents each,
put ya in the
poor house
every time.


Dave Roskos is editor of Iniquity/Vendetta Press. He is the long-time publisher of the independent poetry magazines, Big Hammers and Street Value.