John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC Books, 2020), and Afterlife Karaoke (Crisis Chronicles, 2021). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize. He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trailer Park Song, 1984
john cougar mellencamp sings a song about peace in the elementary school cafeteria as his niece beams with pride my father fixes a local newscaster’s car in the snow for $5 an hour to feed a family of four his knuckle busted open face covered in blood & grease like war paint in a losing battle in our house it’s difficult to have any fight left in you when the spaghetti is low but peace is not the same thing as peace of mind.
Poem for a Noseless Man
for victor clevenger an old man with half his nose eaten away by cancer says we are all ravenous locusts at the same overcrowded trough as he explains his theories on women the front half of his yellow sports car torn off to match his nose after swerving to miss a hay baler he pumps gas and laughs thinking about when he left home after a fight with his father & how he has been on the road ever since he points to the car it could have been worse he could’ve ended up like james dean but he’s not pretty enough for heaven or the silver screen & not ugly enough to hide his face & let some lonesome dirt road forget he was ever here.
Bob Creeley was an Asshole
for jake marx that ungrateful chicken farmer pecking away at your driving as you wheeled him around the kent state campus as tear gas and history flew through glass windows & he barked out orders to go this way or that the same year irving layton sang leonard cohen with the voice of a canary with love & quiet dignity.