Other Poems by:

Bryon D. Howell

WADE

To wade.

To wade through 
a dream.

To wade
through water.

Wading through
something wet.

Knee-deep
in something 
cold.

Fishing
in waist-high
water.

Water perhaps
so cold
it could shrink 
marbles.

I read the word
recently
in a poem.

I barely remember
the poem,
but I can't get the 
word wade
out of 
my head now.

I guess you 
could say
I'm waiting
for the word wade
to either stand still
and let me have a
lick,
or get it's 
literary ass
out of my 

horny 

frog - pond.

NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS, NO RE-PRINTS ACCEPTED

Just today,
I emailed
the copyright
office
and inquired about
the rights:
for,
by,
with
whatever,
where the intellectual
property of
poetry
is concerned.

Just
who
holds the
rights
to a poem?

Is it
the poet?

Is it the
publication?

Anyway.

I received a
response,
within an
hour,
which in my
opinion
was too short,
too concise,
and too

to the point.

"If you wrote
if,
you own it."

I was
half-hoping
whoever it
was
that responded to
my query,
would have given
me
a bit more
information,
but I didn't
dare,
write back
a second
time.

Apparently,
they've got more
important
things
to discuss
in the copyright office
than the 
creation 
and 
ownership

of crap.

STILL POLLUTED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

I used to walk
in,
head straight for
the bar,
and order a
beer.

By the end of the 
night
at closing 
time,

I remembered 

nothing.

I then started
walking in,
stopping off to 
the men's
room 
for a quick 
hair-check,
and then 
strolling
up to the bar
to order 
the beer.

By the end of the 
night
at closing 
time,

I remembered 

nothing.

Out of pure
desperation
I began 
resorting
to walking 
in,
stopping into
the men's room,
and then shooting 
some pool
before approaching the
bar
to order 
the beer.

By the end of 
the night
at closing 
time, all
I could remember
was how much I
truly hate drinking
in bars,
just how 
elusive 
an eight ball 
can be,

and stumbling out

BETTER YOU THAN ME, POET CHO SEUNG-HUI

Nothing failed.

I went Downtown today
for the first time 
in months.

I hate taking the bus
Downtown.

By the time I get
to where I'm going
I'm miserable,
and the ride home is 
always 
just more frosting on 
the cake 
of someone
I don't much care for.

Today was different
somehow.

Even when I arrived 
Downtown, the city 
and all its timely-opportunities 
seemed 
to open-up to me.

I got done with everything 
I had to do
rather quickly,
and accomplished 

a lot.

Things truly went
my way.

When I boarded the bus
to come back home
I was convinced  
the normally tedious 
return-trip
would just be more to become 

contemptuous about.

Pleasantly, 
I was disappointed,
once again.

There was minimal 
traffic,
not a lot of people getting
on and off
and the bridge for once
actually 
stayed flush.

By the time I got off
the bus,
I had a smile 
on my face
not even the voice
of Sanjaya Malakar 
could strain.

And for once,
perhaps the first time
ever,
all the most attractive
commuters
weren't riding 
on the bus going 

the opposite way.

What do you think of 
that?

33 
miles 
and not a single 
ass
got pumped 
full of lead.

Nothing failed.

Not now.

Not today.

Not y...

ON A BUS BOUND - FOR NOWHERE

The time has come.
It's that time
again.

I made sure to pocket enough tobacco and 
rolling papers,
not to mention,
my roller.

I've got my notebook,
a handful of pens,
and a mind 
which I'm certain
will be more than happy
to separate 
itself
from the reality 
of the hell I'm off to.

I'm sure many of the men there
will ask stupid questions
just as I will respond
with well-stocked
intelligent, politically-correct
answers.

I've eaten enough
so I shouldn't have to worry
about getting hungry during the night
and finding myself 
tempted to squander 
my bus fare
for the crap in the vending machine.

I've already made a mental 
note
about the history of my new home, 
it's residents -
and the crack-house
next door -
so I know to leave any and all
other monies
safe and sound
here 
at Gram's.

So, I'm off.

It's almost 2 PM.

To insure myself
an emergency bed
I need to get there no later than 3 PM,
or I may have to explain 
just where
I spent the night
to The Man

It's OK if I get there a little 
early
and have to wait in the rain
for them to open them 
pearly doors
for the count.

At 3:30 PM
when the doors are closed
for the night
Heaven 
will no longer exist -
and the once pearly, white doors,
will become a cement 
slab
standing vertically.

Wake up is a 5:30 AM
at which time I will get on the bus
going the opposite way
to take me back to Gram's.

For a good 8 hours or so
I'll visit with Gram,
play with the cats,
and maybe even 
write
a few more poems.

It's that time
again.
The time has come.

6 or so more months 
of this
and I won't need to leave Gram's
anymore.

If this was a perfect world
he'd allow me 
to just sleep on the bus.
That way, I wouldn't have to sleep
with one eye half-open,
I could see how the other
half lives,
and I wouldn't 
have to worry
about bringing any 
cooties back 
to 83-year-old grandmother's
clean, cozy apartment
far enough away from 
the crack-house
as any recovering drug addict

could possibly get.

FISHING WITH A RUBBER WORM ON OPENING DAY

It's amazing
how one simple
four-letter word
can resonate
in the mind.

The word I'm
referring to
is  

WADE.

To wade.

To wade through 
a dream.

To wade
through water.

Wading through
something wet.

Knee-deep
in something 
cold.

Fishing
in waist-high
water.

Water perhaps
so cold
it could shrink 
marbles.

I read the word
recently
in a poem.

I barely remember
the poem,
but I can't get the 
word wade
out of 
my head now.

I guess you 
could say
I'm waiting
for the word wade
to either stand still
and let me have a
lick,
or get it's 
literary ass
out of my 

horny 

frog - pond.

THE DEAD OF WINTER AND OTHER MISDIAGNOSED FORECASTS

Its the dead of winter,
although snowfall,
has been sparse.
 
The weatherman is constantly
lying to us.
 
The other day,
he predicted
we would receive 12 inches
of ice-packed snow
and temps
well below freezing.
 
What we actually
received
was a sunny day,
with a moderate breeze,
temps well above freezing, and 
no snowfall, whatsoever.
 
He has been making
poor decisions
such as that one
all winter long.
 
Tonight on the news,
the weatherman 
predicted
that tomorrow will be
a sunny day,
with a moderate breeze,
temps well above freezing, and 
no snowfall, whatsoever.
 
I predict
it's time
for me to take a walk 
down to the cellar,
make sure I have enough
 
Bottled Spring Water.

A POEM FOR JORDAN, HIS MOM, AND 23 LESIONS

I was sorry to hear
that Jordan's mom
is having
so many difficulties. 

It appears
she has
23 lesions
on her brain. 

23 lesions! 

When Jordan 
called,
he was hysterical.

I just didn't know what 
if anything
I could say to him
to make him 
feel
any better. 

Jordan described
his mom
as no longer being able
to drive,
unable to use
a pair of scissors
effectively,
and how he himself
must zip 
mom's pants 
back up
once she is finished
going to the bathroom. 

23 lesions! 

Jordan told me
his mom lately
just snaps and goes 
off
for no apparent
reason. 

The screaming.
The crying.
The trembling. 

"23 lesions!"

Jordan apologized
profusely
for bothering me
by calling me
when he
got upset. 

How could I possibly
be mad? 

How could Jordan possibly
be bugging me? 

I told him I totally
understood. 

Jordan and his mom
both
have a lot - 

on their minds.

THEY LEFT THE LIGHT ON FOR ME

I had 
ingested
too many narcotic
substances
during 
the Autumn of floods.
 
I missed it all:
 
The grim forecasts,
the presence of terror,
the drowning deaths
of innocent people.
 
Cars were repossessed by
waves and pulled out
to sea.
 
Homes were seven feet
underwater
or more. 
 
And to all of it -
I was the stranger.
 
Eventually my head
fell from the clouds,
and I landed on my bed,
which too,
had become a raft

and was still bobbing.
 
On my bedside table
there was a lamp,
which miraculously -
was still on 
when I came to.
It was then,
just then, 
that I saw the
truest light.
 
Somewhere between my coming and going, 
a lightning bolt struck the roof of my house,
hail showered down from the popcorn 
ceiling, 
and completely shattered the lamps 
waterproof rain-hat.
 
Now,
I'm the only one 
left 
to clean up -
 
after the Autumn of Floods.

NIGHT OF CASINO

I ordered a drink,
awhile ago.
 
I can see
what I'm up against.
 
The deck is stacked,
in your favor.
 
The dealer, is rooting for you.
 
The onlookers, are rooting for you.
 
I'm holding a decent hand
but you -
are obviously a younger,
bolder player.
 
Where's that drink?
 
Over the course
of my card-playing years,
I have perfected the 
poker face.
 
My heart on my sleeve?
 
That's right.
 
It's tucked next to
the ace,
and hides -
from jokers.
 
I always know
when it's time to fold 
and move
to another table.
 
I can always order
another Shirley Temple -

at that one.

AGE VS. BEAUTY

I have been
trying 
to think of a 
better way
to put it.
 
I've awaited the
arrival
of my 38Th 
birthday
with frivolous sighs,
much like I 
did
on New Year's Eve
the night 2007 
breezed in.
 
I remember Christina
wailing gratefully
in anticipation
of the arrival
of some sugar-coated candy
man.
 
2007 arrived
right on time.
 
He, did not.
 
Everyone elses 
balls 
came down 
that night-
but mine.
It would be
nice
not feeling
like I have to place 
my cake
in the window
and rely on 
the tail-end of some
sarcastic Nor'easter 
to blow -
my candles out.
 
Tonight,
some things are better 
left, unsaid.
 
I'm cold.

Biography

Bryon D. Howell is a poet currently residing in New Haven, Connecticut.
He has been writing poetry for a great number of years. Recently, work of his
has appeared in Unlikely Stories, poeticdiversity, and Censored Poets.

**Copyright 2007-08 Bryon D. Howell, all rights reserved Send us your comments on this article
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