John Tustin

John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many literary journals, online and in print, since 2009. contains links to his published poetry online.


The shower-water still saturates my beard an hour after.
My hair is in the way.
My stomach growling and a fistful of nuts are not enough
To shut him up.
I’m thinking about her but you know I do that
And I’m sorry but I also know that you know I can’t help it.
The bed is becoming swaybacked
And the clean laundry waits for me in a pile in its far corner.
A book is open but I can’t bring myself to read it.
Haydn is playing
And then Lou Reed –
The rain starts during one, ends before the other finishes his 3 minutes,
22 seconds.
The clock turns over and Facebook tells me I have memories to look back on
But I probably won’t.
1 more down and about 8 hours until the first coffee.
My head hurts but it’s always something, y’know?


I drink the last cup of coffee
for tonight –
or, for me, will it be 
my last cup for all nights?

I think about that
as I prepare for bed
so as to sleep tonight
or, for me, will it be,
finally, all nights?

I’m well prepared for tonight’s 
my heat turned down a little,
the sheet and blanket just so.

I am far less prepared for
my all-nights’ sleep
but that is common, I’m sure –

Who will find my body?
Who, if anyone,
will keep my flash drive
with a dozen years’ poems,
five thousand pages’ worth?

I think that to myself
as I prop up four pillows
and drain the last drops
of coffee from the cup

for tonight
or else all nights.
My sheet and blanket 
arranged perfectly
but nothing else.


You’re living like an animal
curled up naked in your cool sheets
with the door unlocked at night

eating when you’re hungry
rubbing up against everything
when you’re horny
or when you’re itchy

cowing from a touch
avoiding the streets in the daytime
happy just eating a piece of cheese.

You’re living like an animal
and my hope is that
when it comes time
you die like one –

without much sound
off in the corner out of the light

because I know that’s how you’d like it.

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