Thursday 22 June 2023

Six Poems by John Doyle


I’ve Got To Be In Nicaragua By Noon 


Living on eggs, 

I think I'll turn into one, 

oh no, not by design, by choice, 

I'll think I'll become an egg, a good egg, egg me on - 


the Libyans are coming after me, 

I tore down their hedgerow to see 

Johnny the Cowboy's star system nudge Ursa Minor 

from the top of the charts, number one for 57 light years, 


it's a record hard to beat says a polar bear arm wrestling a mountie 

who deserves to have it removed from its socket for framing Hendrix in 1969, they turned my membership down, 

it got to me... it got to me... it got me in a pincer movement, 


threw me 15 times 46 head over feet 

like my high-school band lead-singer 

who grabbed his mic holding his guitar landing 2 miles 

out of town on an overnight flight to where? 


here, he said, was elsewhere. 

There are numerous reasons this story is untrue. 

Start by picking holes in my logical progressions, unravel them, send them to me on a postcard, I've got to be in Nicaragua by noon



Don’t Dream. It’s Over 

Terra cotta shattered, and the walls come tumbling down 

Natalie Merchant 


Toast pops-up, 

dawn's slow descent is gone in a dozen realities, 

a sudden flump - 


lights switch-on 

and what used to be daybreak is electrocuted by brainless radio, 

cold-water shakedown, 


solid-rock of tax returns, sunshine-chattered emails; 

all there’s left is for me is the cracked-egg splat of human limits, 

burned like toast, lost like diamonds  




It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

Bob Dylan, 1975


Barbie's beautiful lover-boy bleaches everywhere

south of the border,


Yul Brynner's missing manhood sits on top,

conquest complete,


Barbie's not feeling herself today,

loverboy's fingertips sawn in half by magicians hired by the mob.


Ben's to blame, who'll stand up, who'll call him out?

Ben's a big-talker, sidewalk-stalker,


Ben inside his New Hampshire nest hands you diamond rings, 

hands you potions and spells,

when all you wanted from Ben 

was to know someday you’d be loved.


You ever wonder if he noticed -

that now he blows so hard, the smoke's coming out of his own ass?


Barbie's down at the post-office

writing people she wants to dislocate,


Barbie's sent a telegram to Ben,

telling him to send that alimony alibi


in crypo-currency

instead of sending it twenty years too late -


Ben’s on his knees

cleaning that smashed-up priceless vase,


it’s from the William McGonagall Dynasty

he says, another potential client burning smoke on their heels -


“Ben seems so ruthless today”, she says,

“at his most ruthless he’s at his most useless…”



Usually I don’t like hospitals.

Not places for me, bleachy-drone going on, 

a genie in reverse squeezing into my nose,

my stomach, the hinterlands of my weedy, sand-soft guts.


I usually don’t like hospitals.

But, south of the city, there are hospitals I’ve seen

where people, when past the points of reason, go to. 

Hospitals where Perry Como plays on respectable local-radio, rugby results are called out,


nurses refer to next of kin as Lorcan, as Fiona.

Hospitals, after we pass that velvet economic border,

make that land south of concrete utopia

seem like places I’d like to pass on to Jesus from;



back in 1988,

when Grandad had sound and vision

safely swirling from his fingertips, the bedside window closed beside him, just to be sure



The Groovy Gang From the Liberal Arts College Drama Society


She told that boy she'd get him shots,

she didn't mean Neil Young on the CD player, she didn't mean penicillin.


She sang the Star-Spangled Banner to get the barkeep's attention,

he was busy learning how to make himself deaf;


the girls wear their “ironic” mom jeans because their bodies are free,

their minds belong to Instagram, Tik Tok, mostly,


a little bit of sinew belongs to themselves.

Deeply and madly uneasy, a lady beside me orders tomorrow on the rocks,


later tonight we'll steal a policeman's car, get married in the rain.

You need to quit being sober my guardian angel says,


my wife of 48 minutes leaves me to return to real estate

so she can donate her body to science.


After I’ve flushed the can

a student tells me he doesn’t believe I support his ambitions,


I say that I'm hurting on the inside everyday,

doesn't that count?


He said, oh no it doesn't, get a job you gun-totin' hawk,

these are postmodern times.


Your pantaloons are quite horrific sister,

if you don't mind me saying so,


as you sing a song from the withered-jaws of an unconscious century;

That sister, I bare you no ill-will for



The jumbo-jets and the whistling sparrows, 

the pilot who knew sun as son 


and the mother gurgling worms to her young - 

dolefully mock us. 


More and more the rain falls at their command, 

more and more the earth clenches toes 


in footsteps of the most 

appalling sadness

John Doyle - I like to write poems about Atletico Madrid, freight trains, and Roger Moore. Sometimes other stuff too.


1 comment:

  1. I am not always good at describing WHY, I LIKE a piece, poem... There is a conversational feel/thread yet a disconnected post modern almost surrealness to many of these.
    All of which draws me in.


One Poem by Daniel Suter

  Narnia     I'm looking for the door , m y mind longing to explore .   I'm pushing it wide open , h oping to find the beauty   o f...