John Yamrus has published 20 volumes of poetry and 2 novels. He has also had more than 1,400 poems published in print magazines around the world. His latest book, BARK, is a collection of poems about man’s best friend. His website is johnyamrus.com.

*****

she talks of the time

when she was
young and there was
a suicide down the street.

he did it
in the garage
and she can still
remember the blood
running under the door.

she doesn’t mention
doctors,

or
cops,

or even the worms
that waited.

________________________________

pancreatic cancer

has a way
of leveling the field.

she fought it
for three long years.

in the end,
it cut her down,

and there was
nothing else
to say.

________________________________

he put my book

down on his desk
and said:

i can’t seem
to call
the
stuff
you write
poetry.

i don’t know
what it is,
but it’s just not
poetry.

he
was
never
more
right
in
his
life.

________________________________

they stopped

asking
me to come to
their open mic nights.

i couldn’t
bring myself to
tell them
it bores the shit out of me to
hear “poets” read.

every time they’d ask
i’d make excuses.

i always had
some other plans,
even if they asked
weeks ahead.

they finally
stopped.

it’s good that way.

and quiet.

and, somehow
fitting:

they’ve got
their poems,

and i’ve got
mine.

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About the author

John Yamrus

John Yamrus

Since 1970 John Yamrus has published 20 volumes of poetry and 2 novels. He has also had more than 1,400 poems published in print magazines around the world. His latest book, BARK, is a collection of poems about man's best friend. His website is johnyamrus.com.

  • WJoseph Stegner, Jr.

    I hear you on the poetry 'readings.' The only thing more boring than reading, is watching another do the same. Even the most profound words lose power when not delivered with eye contact, or theatrical performance. I think the best respect to give an audience is to care enough to memorize what is written. If it's not worth the author remembering, why should an audience?

  • http://www.elenairving.com Elena Irving

    I agree about the boring part listening to poets drone on.. So it was especially great listening to Jack Grapes read his poetry last Sunday at Beyond Baroque. His poetry is not only profound but delivered by the accomplished actor he is. Jock and the audience shared one spirit as we laughed with him in the funny parts, felt his pain in the sad parts and cried with him when he had the sniffles and wiped his eyes reading passages about loving his wife and child.

  • Alexis Rhone Fancher

    Such a pleasure to read John Yamrus' s poems. Wry. Spare. Deceptively simple. And always terrific.