Literary Property

by David Lohrey


One doesn’t think of poets as money managers.

It must be nice to see one’s work issued by the government.

You have to give her credit for it, she made an industry

out of having had a hard time of it, even if today she lunches

with the likes of Oprah and Jessica Mitford.

Had there been enough good parts, she could have 

made a fine actress. She would have made a powerful Josie 

Hogan, you know, from that play by Eugene O’Neill, or that

haunting wife of Macbeth, or, better yet, Hamlet’s dear mother.

Instead, she became a bestselling poet.

Something about her reminds me of a circus, a tented

carnival with a snake-man called Scaly and a three-breasted

lady. Step right up and hear her tale of unparalleled woe.

Avoid the door on the right, or you might get her confused

with the tattooed midget in yellow tights and his aqua tunic.

Tell the tale of your miserable past: how

you were beaten and mistreated, and how

you experienced unwanted advances. Why not

explain once again what it was like to have to eat

barbecued bologna on Christmas morning?

Now there’s human suffering.

The royalties mount beyond anyone’s count.

Rake it in while it lasts. There’s the 5-bedroom townhouse

in a fashionable part of Harlem, the mansion down

in swampy Carolina, a wee property along the Hudson

and, rumor has it, a pied-á-terre in a posh section of Paris.

The newest new book is just coming out in a new

waterproof edition. The text, it is said, glows in the dark,

so it can be read underwater, or you can get one that floats.

It is scheduled to appear later this month in coordination

with her new show, Big Woe, the new Broadway Musical.

Have your say, as they say, but be sure to count your earnings.

Some might say it is too much to dare. When you wear earrings 

and things from Tiffany’s, it gets harder and harder to ask for 

sympathy. You might wind up like some of your devoted readers,

much too rich to notice a little girl in need of affection.


David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. In the US, his poems can be found at the RavensPerch, New Orleans Review, Nice Cage, and The Drunken Llama. Internationally, his work appears in journals located in the UK, the Netherlands, India, Malawi, and Hungary. His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo. You can read more of his writing at Writing, Musing, Poetry

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