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Five Short Poems

Five Short Poems

©2013 by Dallas Denny

I give you five short poems, all unpublished.






Asylum (1972)


From age-old rooms that musty scent

of unwashed senescence

ill-cleaned excrement

pokes fingers of corruption

into the sanctimoniousness of Lysol

and dares invade the much-too-spotless halls

where ill-made institutional chairs

and their ill-kempt riders

sit tranquilized

like bumper cars in a power failure


Beauty (1974)


Whisper down the velvet stair

The Beast emerges from its lair

Beware the perfume and the lace

The makeup writ upon the face

Beauty is a useful tool

It snares the wise man, and the fool


Lost Opportunities (1978

Lost Opportunities

I am depressed by lost opportunities

cakes not baked

walks not taken

movies not seen

dreams not dreamed

bargains not shopped for

people not met

evenings lost to the television set

doughnuts not eaten

poems not penned

futures dead

whole lives not led

— 1978

Memphis Cat (1984)

Memphis Cat


Elvis has Left the Building

He might have been the King one time

But he died too old and fat

A rhinestone-clad celebrity

An aging Memphis Cat


Encounter (1993)


It’s raining hard on the streets of New York.

It’s a hell of a night to have to go to work.

I’m standing by a streetlight in my usual spot

When a chauffeur-driven limo pulls to the curb.


The rear window rolls down and a voice says, “You’ll do.”

I say softly, “Wish I could say the same about you.”

I climb in beside him and he raps on the glass

And tells the driver cruise through Central Park. Slowly.


He says, “you’re really rather pretty.”

I say, I’ve heard that before.”

He says, “I’ll bet you work hard to look like that.”

I say, “You have no idea.”

— 1993