Oscar Wilde Is Back/David Lohrey

At all costs, be nice.

Your job is to make people feel good.

You’re a defender of the status quo.

You agree with Stalin:

everyone should be happy.

The first to stop smiling gets the axe.

The first to stop clapping, disappears.

What’s all this doom and gloom?

The Democrats are the party of good cheer.

The Republicans represent darkness.

Oscar Wilde – were he alive – would be

easy to place; he never had anything nice to say.

We know what he represented. We

don’t need to read his stories.

His books don’t deserve reprinting.

Take them out of circulation. I’ve got it:

let’s distribute the works of a dedicated progressive

instead: Obama’s memoirs along with the yellow pages.

We’ll make them mandatory reading, like

Slaughter-House Five for incoming freshmen.

We’ll not only not read Oscar Wilde, we’ll

arrest those who try to keep him in print.

We’ll listen in on their conversations. We’ll

have anyone who looks unhappy picked up,

anyone who’s not delighted, arrested. Progressives

are happy. We’ll make sadness against the law,

beginning with Mr. Wilde, who was a notorious complainer.

He demanded a dialogue when we know

happy people prefer to talk to themselves.

Saul Bellow said that: an unbroken record,

an incantation of jolly thoughts, a forced smile,

or even a perpetual dance fits democracy best.

Wilde dared to ask for open

discussion. He wanted the young

to think and debate; he spoke

like a Sophist; every student of Plato knows there’s

only one truth. Our professors know a thing or two,

beginning with the desire to see Wilde banned.

Let’s drive him off. Hell, we’ll

put him in prison, once we

deprive him of a living. The

editors at Simon & Schuster should

be picked up, too. At least they deserve

to be boycotted and picketed – driven out of business,

for daring to give freedom a greenlight, for

giving that faggot an open mic.

He says he’d be happier in prison anyway, so let’s do

him the favor. We’ll make dialogue against the law,

not just a forbidden custom, like masturbation. We’ll censor

discordant voices. We’ll start with that loudmouth from England.

We’ll get him off television and run reruns of Downton

Abbey for Anglophiles, something wholesome about

heterosexual families, not a vile-mouthed homo spouting trash,

like his hatred of conformity and political correctness.

Who the fuck does this guy think he is?


[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. Also, he’s freakin’ awesome.]

When the Cradle Stops Rocking – David Lohrey

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

b07398eca4f48361d9c8dfce1482c845When the Cradle Stops Rocking – David Lohrey

When the cradle stops rocking,
pink and blue darlings
spin in the breeze,
as these pastel posts
pen me in, lest I fall.
It’s dark. Why’d they turn

out the lights? That man came in again,
repeating my name. He pressed his wet lips
against my cheek and blew.

I want that ant to follow my eye.
His friend circles above,
keeping her thoughts to herself.
Her mate can’t seem to get in.

Silk threads above hang loose and
dangle. Is it a trapeze; is it for fun?

There’s so much murmuring I can’t sleep. The flying duck
and the mouse dance but don’t sing.

It’s the woman’s fragrance I miss most of all,
and I like her cold finger behind my ear.

[David is lost in Japan. He is a smart, kind man who writes amazing poetry. We are thrilled to…

View original post 71 more words

Peaches and Cream-David Lohrey

Many live without love.

Not I, but I do have

sympathy. I understand,

as they say in Alabama.

I get it, as they say in

Philly. Life without love

must be tough. I first heard

that at the Westside Y.

The man who said so was holding

my dick. He tightened

his grip when he spoke.

It made me scream.

 

Life is a shit sandwich.

I don’t agree, but I do

see what you mean.

Life is not always peachy

keen, I agree. Just last month

my cousin had to go to

hospital, complaining

about her stomach. Her

surgery wasn’t a success

so now she shits into a little bag.

She smells. She says now she wants

to kill herself. Who could blame her?

 

I have compassion for her and for

victims like her. I can identify

with their frustrations.

It’s not easy being angry,

directing rage while feeling helpless.

One is torn, yet one is paralyzed.

Revenge is understandable. I get that.

If you had the chance, you’d strike back,

even if it meant committing murder.

 

Sympathy, understanding, and

compassion are related. It’s

all a matter of relating to

misfortune, identifying with

victims, sharing feelings.

Some can do that; others can’t.

I have a talent for living

as others do, a genius

for seeing as others do.

The danger remains that one tires of

suffering. The thrill wears off. Sympathy

turns into pity. One wants privacy.

One hopes, ironically, for abandonment;

one searches for love, not just understanding;

not for patience, but for anger. Don’t

hold your breath. These feelings take time.

 

Can we pull ourselves together?

 

Not if you call the police.

Not if you involve the law.

Not if you head for court.

Think about it. So many problems

now are settled by lawyers.

Who do we sue when we’ve lied?

There’s no one else to blame. We are

talking about self-inflicted wounds.

 

The court of humiliation.

Who is the justice of the peace?

If only the laws were enforced.

How divine to see justice served.

Who can decree tranquility in this chaos?

Who can quiet our longings? I’d like to file

papers against all who have awakened this beast.

 

We’re past negotiating.

There is no ready settlement.

There is no point in holding a meeting.

It’s not that there can be no compromise.

It’s that everything has been compromised.

We are the aggrieved parties.

We’ve sold out. We’re hollowed out.

We’re wiped out. We have nothing to give. 

Now we’re talking dispersal of holdings,

confiscation of property, liquidation of assets.

We’re bankrupt: financially, sure, but much more

importantly, morally. We can’t vouch for ourselves.

We are traveling without a letter of credit.

We’re liable to be detained, searched, and,

in all likelihood, arrested. We could spend the rest

of our lives in prison, left to rot.

We’re lucky not to be tarred and feathered.

Some of us will be shot. They have our guns.


[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. Also, he’s freakin’ awesome.] 

Oscar Wilde Is Back/David Lohrey

At all costs, be nice.

Your job is to make people feel good.

You’re a defender of the status quo.

You agree with Stalin:

everyone should be happy.

The first to stop smiling gets the axe.

The first to stop clapping, disappears.

What’s all this doom and gloom?

The Democrats are the party of good cheer.

The Republicans represent darkness.

Oscar Wilde – were he alive – would be

easy to place; he never had anything nice to say.

 

We know what he represented. We

don’t need to read his stories.

His books don’t deserve reprinting.

Take them out of circulation. I’ve got it:

let’s distribute the works of a dedicated progressive

instead: Obama’s memoirs along with the yellow pages.

We’ll make them mandatory reading, like

Slaughter-House Five for incoming freshmen.

We’ll not only not read Oscar Wilde, we’ll

arrest those who try to keep him in print.

We’ll listen in on their conversations. We’ll

have anyone who looks unhappy picked up,

anyone who’s not delighted, arrested. Progressives

are happy. We’ll make sadness against the law,

beginning with Mr. Wilde, who was a notorious complainer.

He demanded a dialogue when we know

happy people prefer to talk to themselves.

Saul Bellow said that: an unbroken record,

an incantation of jolly thoughts, a forced smile,

or even a perpetual dance fits democracy best.

 

Wilde dared to ask for open

discussion. He wanted the young

to think and debate; he spoke

like a Sophist; every student of Plato knows there’s

only one truth. Our professors know a thing or two,

beginning with the desire to see Wilde banned.

Let’s drive him off. Hell, we’ll

put him in prison, once we

deprive him of a living. The

editors at Simon & Schuster should

be picked up, too. At least they deserve

to be boycotted and picketed – driven out of business,

for daring to give freedom a greenlight, for

giving that faggot an open mic.

 

He says he’d be happier in prison anyway, so let’s do

him the favor. We’ll make dialogue against the law,

not just a forbidden custom, like masturbation. We’ll censor

discordant voices. We’ll start with that loudmouth from England.

We’ll get him off television and run reruns of Downton

Abbey for Anglophiles, something wholesome about

heterosexual families, not a vile-mouthed homo spouting trash,

like his hatred of conformity and political correctness.

Who the fuck does this guy think he is?


[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. Also, he’s freakin’ awesome.]

MISSING – David Lohrey

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

ameabusch

MISSING – David Lohrey

What’s missing?
Absolutely everything, dad, absolutely everything,
including you.

Who’s missing?

I have friends who don’t sleep at night.
Are they thinking of what’s happened or worried about tomorrow?

The ball came this close but missed my head.
It’s called a close call.
All of life is a close call, mother said.

Who, what, where, when, why, how?

Mother’s left breast is missing.
Does she miss it? Did he?

Humes. Clover. Des Moines, Iowa. Coldspring.
There’s no tomorrow and yesterday’s forgotten.

You will be missed means you’re still alive.
You’re not dead yet but you will be.
Welcome to your funeral.

Is anything missing?
There is something missing but I can’t put my finger on it.

My front tooth is missing.
I missed the bus.
Mom’s purse.
Where’s my sock?

No, I don’t miss the bus.
I missed the boat.

“I’ll teach you to talk that…

View original post 29 more words

Next Door Neighbor – David Lohrey

David Lohrey

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

la-dolce-vita

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…

View original post 283 more words

Drink the Ramen – David Lohrey

It rains every day but there is no water.

In Chitose-Funabashi, the puddles are fine and the river runs wide,
But showers are on timers.

Take the wrappers off the bottles, keep the lettuce in the larder,
The neighbors eye our bin.

This summer, lightning strikes harder but the rains lose heart.

Locals don’t taste the noodles, the flavor’s in the broth.

It rains every day but there is no water.


[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. Also, he’s freakin’ awesome.]