Darnell M – Marc Darnell



obituary for a house

it was old
even when built
leaking at the panes

but the children were
grateful for those drafts
on humid nights when

it could not cool itself
from the coals of day
and though it became brittle

in serest winter it never
broke or chaffed away
and all its boxiness

had a soul of a father
for the mother in it
who had no husband

this house held her
in its cubicle love
when no man would

stay more than a night
and it saw her children
to school with its

browed eaves and window
agape with each departure
but all the children are

now gone the mother
too and a house not
lived in is not alive


obituary for a tattoo

seamed into forearm
twenty years past
it went from crisp
licorice scorpion to
blue blued
arachnidian smear
claws of fuzz
benign no emblem
of rebellion

the skin aged
crinkled till
its whip sting was
only a question mark

fade me too
like ink
bleed me into the world
I was unwillingly
injected and


The Poet Revises His Revision

You have no flair with pen in hand–
get off the throne, your wit lacks weight.
You’re programmed to impress, and hesitate
to fix a phrase you now don’t understand.

True genii should reprimand
your enigmatic hand, affix your rate
of pomp and pay.  Of late,
you only flair with mirror in hand,

a cock who jots a junked dialect.
“Brilliance has no patience for the thick,”
you crow, “it doesn’t wait,” but it’s too late

for you, with thoughts you fail to resurrect,
and arrogance marks you thick
when it dictates what you do and don’t delete.


The Surgeon

It’s getting late–
the wound is fresh–
it’s time to operate.

Don’t celebrate
and drink like a fish
if it’s getting late–

the next day you might hesitate
when slicing the flesh–
shaking as you operate,

and viscerate
a vein you wish
you hadn’t; then it’s too late

to keenly irrigate,
and wish you could wash
another gin down after you operate,

so you’re always in a drunken state,
sometimes longing for a car crash,
because it’s too late–
no one likes the way you operate.


The Right To Bear

Just got back from the gun show.
Got a new one, and a knife.
I’ll shoot myself I know I know,

one of these days I’ll go
too far, graze my wife
when she nags, I’ll show

her what hell I’m living, oh
the stopped-up grief
from my sons I know

hate me, since I crow
nonstop they need to get a life,
having nothing to show

but college degrees and throw
their money away on enough
pansy things and never know

how to hunt, instead grow
organic gardens, talk eco-fluff,
but it was a gem of a gun show,
I’ll shoot myself I know I know.






Marc Darnell is a custodian and online tutor in Omaha NE, and has also been a phlebotomist, hotel supervisor, busboy, editorial assistant, farmhand, devout recluse, and incurable brooder.  He received his MFA from the University of Iowa, and has published poems in The Lyric, Rue Scribe, Verse, Skidrow Penthouse, Shot Glass Journal, The HyperTexts, Candelabrum, The Road Not Taken, Aries, Ship of Fools, Open Minds Quarterly, The Fib Review, Verse-Virtual, Blue Unicorn, Ragazine, The Literary Nest, and The Pangolin Review among others.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.