Joseph V. Milford: Two Poems from “After the Mermaids Have Gone, Vol. 1”

I’m free of the anvil
That hath killed all my

[insert Norwegian death metal shredding]

I’m free of the succubus
And have been sodomized
By Muses

[insert Norwegian death metal shredding]

The occult, with its
Focus on freedom
Is in the gutters and tapwater
Of this smalltown venue

[insert Norwegian death metal shredding]


My heroes didn’t hear my songs
And I didn’t hear theirs until they were dead

We miss each other and don’t even know
Our own cornbread with cracklings, the stale musty

Living room, with the plaid-covered couch
And its wooden frame where guitars were played within

The wood—the paneled wooden walls and false teeth
Of the great-grandmas

Rattling at night in glasses
In the medicine cabinets

As the trains earthquake by with promises


Joseph V. Milford is the author of the poetry collections CRACKED ALTIMETER (BlazeVox Press) and TATTERED SCROLLS AND POSTULATES, VOL I. (Backlash Press). He is an English professor and Creative Writing instructor living south of Atlanta, Georgia. He also edits the online poetry thread, RASPUTIN, A POETRY THREAD.



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