Michael N. Thompson


I drank whiskey sours
with some carnies
at a Days Inn
near Texarkana

The bearded lady
tried to put on the make,
but I was more interested
in seeing if the sword swallower
could live up to her name

It wasn’t hard to tell
why the side show barker
had a room to himself

You could hear his voice
booming from five doors away

Someone found a radio station
that only played Conway Twitty
and nobody dared
to change the dial
for fear of repercussions
from the strong man

When I woke up
in the bathtub naked,
I made sure my organs
were all accounted for

You never know
with carnies


Jayne Mansfield flags me down
from the side of the highway
and I open the passenger door

She warns me not to pick up Bettie Page
whose jalopy has overheated at a rest area
ten miles from the nearest town

Apparently, Jayne doesn’t like to share

We pass by J. Edgar Hoover
caught in a bear trap
and I promise to set him loose
only if he tells me
what really happened
to the Kennedys

The son of a bitch
would rather bleed to death
than spill his guts

With Steve McQueen as our chauffeur
Jayne motions me to the backseat,
but I like my head in one piece

Steve’s road stories are more likely
to make the miles go faster

Michael N. Thompson likes bacon and fantasy football, but hates using ampersands.  His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot and Toronto Quarterly. 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 late 2015/early 2016. Michael has lived in the Pacific NorthwestPennsylvania and Los Angeles, but currently resides on the mean streets of MartinezCaliforniawww.michaelnthompson.com

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