Literary Yard

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‘Alcoholic’ and other poems by Michael T. Smith

By: Michael T. Smith


I’m gonna need someone to hold me down
some fallen angel that will help me drown,
a baptism for the killing spree.
I’m getting clean, shaking my life off me.

So I was going to meet my maker
To tell him about all his mistakes, or
at least belve out my mind but was too dry:
my throat’s dehydrated by this sea tide,

But I’ll be damned you listened to a blurb,
said a subular from the wing of her:
stole my ignorance out from under me,
and in the bargain took my pride for free

And then my brain had an affair with some
bad idea, not list’ning to me none.
Its offspring hung over like a dark sun
through morning, but in the twilight was gone.

Now I’m here, brought down to my bended knees,
my face kissing on a porcelain frieze,
while my hands are lost in prayer’s tied sleeves,
only wish there was something I believed


Diary XXIX

The morning broke before it even started,
its rays a pleget over my hometown

Whose name was not exactly a byword,
but people whispered of it what they heard;

My birth was like a burp from Cassandra,
but only after getting pretty stoned,

So I started out on milk
but soon hit the harder stuff —

Maybe I was a little bit confused
from growing down long enough

On this street, only being told
where on the map I was not to go.

Had some teachers take an interest in me,
been paying it back ever since,

Spoke to me of opportunities,
a gasconade of Fortune’s other kids

While I got to choose between debt
and misery — pari passu.

So I stayed perpetually strapped
to the shoes on my feet,

Which only traveled with the earth
as it tried to turn its cheek.

I wish once you could stand in my shoes,
but I haven’t got a pair to spare.

Felt delicate as I looked in the mirror
for it didn’t have the decency to lie

And they didn’t like the position of my face
so I just stood still and stare,

Practiced forging a smile for the mess
of those educational masses

Until I realized underdog
was a euphemism for bottom bitch,

And you’re belittled
standing next to giants,

Who only invited you to the party
so that they could seem tall.


In My Bedroom

A bureau of drawers with a majority vote,
holding sock puppets of morbid fancy –
it’s Punch and Judy’s in cloth form,
a drunken disorder of dancing pairs.

An array of acrobatic draperies
offer twelve percussive notes
to hum and meditate on an empty bed –
the island of the solitary thinker, who says:

“Only a contortionist can fit his body in a poem,”
as vita vino – the wine
swirls into the flushed drunkard’s mouth
like water in an adjacent toilet bowl.

Likewise, my fan rotates like a wrist,
which limply waves to the world
and its decorations, and the breeze
carries the message of the outside hour.

My door opens like a door to the mind:
only seen by a camera in long shot,
and every bit of light’s trapped inside it
in cages of wire and hard thoughts.

A carpet running under one’s gaze
is a marathon of the stationary,
on which various pieces of me
are strewn all over the place.

And the closet holds the many versions
of me (forever an acronym),
of every unfinished breath said to no one
in this imprisoned abode.


Verse that wants to be a Prose poem

Man says, “in the real world…”
as soon as I brought up some ideal,
some principle of the philosophic –
or practical life. As in: Practice, n.:
The act of thinking before you speak.
His lips betrayed himself,
curling to indicate some pride
as if at thirty fucking five,
he’s proud of recognizing reality.

Jesus. The real world –
shoot me. For any obscenity
is more poetic than this phrase
(and if you can’t recognize
that poetry is swearing –
you have no oath to give).

The next thing you’ll say is –
‘nothing lasts forever.’ Uh-huh…
But if the matter of physics says
nothing can be created nor destroyed,
then, in essence –
Everything actually lasts forever.

(Except for metaphors).
Any – way, any real way…
“the real world.” You say what I should think,
being more proud of the words
put in my mouth
than the ones put in yours.

This is the practice of idiots
–of idiots who don’t practice
but take a swing at empty air
and call themselves prodigies
of the pedestrian ennui –
(which is rarely interesting
…and never unique).
Man says a word,
and it bores the hell out of me.


Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of English who teaches both writing and film courses.  He has published over 150 pieces (poetry and prose) in over 80 different journals.  He loves to travel.

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