Next Door Neighbor – David Lohrey


Next Door Neighbor – David Lohrey 


The man who moans

Moans because he lives alone.

His moans are not the same

As the couple upstairs.

Say no more.


He moans because he is still alive.

His moans are like sighs.

They communicate isolation. It’s

The human equivalent of an owl’s hoo.

Almost like boo hoo. But not quite.


The guy’s lonely.


When the young men are lonely,

They whistle.

The man who moans can’t whistle,

But he wants company.

He’s lonely.


When we hear moaning, we

Feel discomfort. Humans recognize

Despair. It’s in our genes.

It’s coming and we know it.

It’s basic.


In the meantime, we laugh.

Or whatever. You don’t hear

A lot of moaning from the young.

Nor from the young at heart.

It’s disturbing.


A whistle is a mating call.

The young man wants company.

He expresses appreciation, however

Awkwardly, however rudely. It’s

Base, but it’s sexy.

Women secretly love it.

Dying men don’t whistle.


The dying want company

But not sexual attention.

Sex is the furthest thing

From the mind of the man

Who moans. He’s alone.


The penis no longer works. It

Doesn’t even perform its

Primary function, which

Is pissing. Even that is an ordeal.


Hey, this is real.


The man moans for all that’s gone,

Including his once sharp mind.


The ease of pissing goes first,

Then the brain.

The combination is discouraging.

You can’t piss and you can’t remember where you laid your



Some cry.


I never do. I moan.

[David is lost in Japan. He is a smart, kind man who writes amazing poetry. We are thrilled to have him writing for Sudden Denouement. He is one of us.]

David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River in New York but grew up in Memphis. He graduated from U.C., Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia. He teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, and served as drama critic in NYC and LA for His plays have appeared in the UK, Switzerland, India and, most recently, in Croatia. In a Newark Minute and Sperm Counts were translated and produced in Estonia (2016). His poetry can be found in The Rats Ass Review, Softblow, The Blue Mountain Review, Otoliths, Sentinel Literary Quarterly and Quarterday.  Recent fiction can be read in Crack the Spine and at He is currently writing a memoir of his years living in Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea and on the Persian Gulf.

[Photo:  Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita]


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