R P VERLAINE

Rp Verlaine lives and writes in New York City. He has an MFA in creative writing from City College and taught English in New York public schools until he retired. His first volume of poetry, Damaged by Dames & Drinking, was published in 2017 and a second collection, Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers, in 2018. A set of three e books titled, Lies From The Autobiography 1-3 followed in years 2018-2020.

Stirring The Ashes

Her exhaled blue smoke 
gone with the frilly 
dresses once left on the floor. 
Last to go was the lipstick 
on glasses finally 
washed.
 
You now look past 
trivial absurdities 
that came as a death knell. 
Our sad requiem  
lost in the wreckage, 
stirring the ashes, 
 
aware that miracles 
are, too, rare dances 
of fate…  
you are lost without 
that shining music 
of her soft laughter 
 
with everything  
Fragmented, or lost 
as the love that's left 
too many wounds to 
engage with another.  
 
So, you imagine her face, 
flawless as a waterfall, 
you see her with 
that cigarette 
and almost smell 
that blue smoke again. 

Last of The Barflies

When the bar 
is your first thought 
and the last to dangle 
options that aren’t 
anything more than a trap 
sprung too close 
to the last time 
you’re skipping fate’s rope. 
 
So you try to change 
the tune by drinking more 
at home or not drinking 
on days that increasingly 
seem like throwaways 
where familiar patterns                 
have a numbing clarity. 
 
All wistful and sad 
missing the bartenders 
even the barflies who were 
strangers but did not remain so. 
or women too young or old 
whom I took home in memory 
who with keys to my heart 
have still never left. 

The Price of Sunsets

With vintage champagne 
and a hundred dollar
lunch gone, we trade 
loan shark smiles 
toward skies… 
 
morphing red 
as we tan in 
designer wear 
near nude, our 
liquor tweaked 
laughter now 
a half octave higher. 
 
Just two jaded 
tourists spending 
large banknotes 
gained with low 
paying overtime 
sweat. 

On a rented boat 
in the Florida Keys 
open-mouthed at 
the crime scene 
life/death of 
another 
miraculous sunset. 

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