Barry Yeoman: “Barely Hanging On”

Barely Hanging On

I’m constantly harassed
by unrecorded sentences
that loiter like pesky gnats
above the trashcan, the toilet,
the over-ripe bananas.

My diminished capacities
cover a continent, growing
and eroding with each storm.
Sand blown dust devils dance
while the boll weevil infests.

I’ve been pushing gloom
around all of my life, trying
to navigate obstacles, to win
at rigged carnival games.
There was a lush tempo I

gambled with and lost.
A black umbrella hangs
on a coat rack at the racetrack.
Something orange has left
a faint scent behind my glands.

Being harnessed to helium-
filled balloons I stay airborne
for ten feet between each two
steps I push off with. I would
not call this flying. I would call

it barely hanging on.


Barry Yeoman is a poet from Springfield, Ohio, currently living and writing in London, Ohio. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Studies: Literature and Creative Writing from Antioch University Midwest (Yellow Springs, Ohio). Submitting poetry since 2014 his work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Mission at Tenth, U City Review, Common Ground Review, Lost Coast Review, Right Hand Pointing, Crack the Spine, Harbinger Asylum, Gravel, and Broad River Review, among other print and online journals. He is working on a first book-length manuscript. He can be reached at

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