Michael N. Thompson

HARD TIMES COME EASY


Thick black coffee
warms up my guts

Being 2000 miles away
from Youngstown feels good

Feels damn good

Everything about Ohio
reminds me of those harpies
who I used to work with
at the Nabisco plant

The pay was awful,
but they said it beat being
“one of those welfare whores
from O’Karma Terrace”

Six of one or a half dozen
of the other, if you ask me

Indolence paralyzed everyone I knew
until it was too late for them

It’s always too late

Some carry their regret
like a bucket of water,
but my pail is empty

There’s no point going back,
absolution is my stock in trade
and I’m not afraid of ghosts





BIRTH TO BURIAL


Norm’s Roadhouse
in Columbia, Missouri
serves steak and eggs
around the clock
for less than five bucks

The daily assembly
of semi truck drivers,
highway patrolmen
and assorted seat warmers
clog up the counter
like wool in a drain

A man humming along
to vintage George Jones
gets paid no mind,
but when the radio dial bemoans
that “there is no sunshine
when she’s gone”
the meat puppets agree
Bill Withers knows the score

Every man’s politics
and look at life
has been handed down
like an inheritance
from birth to burial

It’s hard to admit
living is so damn hard
that it feels like dying
when your best bifocals
are rose-colored glasses

Holding onto the pipe dream
that Reagan’s America still breathes
in the fabric of the heartland
proves that Stepford children
only see what they want to see

Imagine if Hinckley
had been a better shot




Bio: Michael N. Thompson likes bacon and fantasy football, but hates using ampersands.  He is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being A Murder Of Crows (University Of Hell Press, 2014). His next collection, Days Of Swine And Roses, will also be released through University Of Hell Press in 2017. Michael currently resides on the mean streets of Martinez, California. www.michaelnthompson.com


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