Rp Verlaine

Rp Verlaine, a retired English teacher living in NYC, has an MFA in creative writing from City College. He has several collections of poetry including Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers (2018) and Lies From The Autobiography 1-3 (2018-2020). Rp’s work has been featured in Punk Noir, Ygdrasil, and Runcible Spoon. 

Answered By Silence

Thinking of
the lipstick on
her half open mouth
always leaving me
a little room
for doubt
with besotted lies.

In a bar
where half a dozen beers
barely register until
I switch to whiskey,
walking backwards,
every kiss for perspective.

Answered by silence
are any such replies
to where we/she/are/is
and none to my
ten texts and calls. 

Safe From Garbage Can Fires

Writing five poems 
in a single night surrounded 
by my own alienated 
shadow afraid to 
come too close. 
I heard the clicking 
of loaded guns 
outside picking off 
the stars but  
saw no faces. 
While homeless winos 
hum numbed odes 
to the cold's icy arms. 
Their bottles empty as 
the grave of a flower 
or their tombs  
of mislaid dreams 
long without a pulse. 
Ten below zero 
I murmur them a prayer 
finishing the poems. 
Going again to my bed of nails 
with yesterday’s cuts half 
healed as always. 

The Night After High School

Whatever he said, 
you know now it’s a lie. 
It hurts, but you are too proud 
to scream or stop him. 
So fixing your gaze 
on a star, you bite your lip, 
wondering if it is always 
like this. 
Nothing ever being 
what you hoped, or wanted, 
or thought it would be like. 
You worry the condom will break. 
Or the police or 
someone will come 
like in the cheap horror movies, 
but this seems worse 
and later he will ask you 
what it was like and you 
will lie because that 
is how it is 
when you're female, not pretty, 
and poor in a small town where your 
virginity's worth a movie, four beers 
and a half smoked up joint. 

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