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Kevin Eberhardt

Been writing poetry since my first haiku in 6th grade. I am now 51. I started reading the poetry of Charles Bukowski in the mid 90s and threw everything I had written previously away, starting over. Got tired of writing poetry that sounded like either bad country & western lyrics or Rod McKuen on prozac.



Fuck / she shot me
The bitch shot me
Can you believe this shit
And it hurts / Christ it hurts
What do you mean where
Can‘t you see / huh
Oh, she’s clever, man
Of course there’s no blood
But she shot me all the same
Well / maybe she didn’t actually
Pull the trigger / she’s too smart
Ya know / way too clever
But she’s the one responsible
She’s a woman / for Christ's sake
She uses her charms / her
Intellect / her looks / her sex
Like weapons / you know what
I’m talkin’ about / she didn’t
Shoot me / you sayin’ I shot
Myself / you fuckin’ shittin’ me
Man / like I attempted suicide
Or somethin’ / for what / man
For her / she won’t even look at me
Won’t talk to me / she don’t even
Know I exist / of course she did
It / she used me / man / I feel so
Used / I feel stupid / worthless
I saw my whole damn life flash
Before me / and she wasn’t in
It / she’s gone underground
She’s hiding from me / so / yeah
She shot me / man / and when
I find her she’ll be sorry / she’s
Gonna pay / big time / c'mon man
You know why / don’t ya / ‘cause
I love her / see / I can’t live
Without her / she took the stars
The moon / the sun / my joy
My self respect / you know what
I’m talkin’ about / my manhood
O.K. / so I won’t hurt her / I’m
Too much of a coward / I’m lower
Than the worm that crawls under
A snake’s belly / she didn’t shoot
Me / all right / but she might as
Well have / I love her / man
And I’m dyin’ here / I’m fuckin’
Dyin’ / what / what's her name
I don't even fuckin' know / man
Don’t even know…


Cut down in
Cut in half
Life left on a
Factory-bound train
One comes to awareness
One comes to a demise
Full of surprise
& invective

“What the fuck

What the fuck
Was the question merely
Or did you really want
To know

You were first on
A long list of
The first to leave &
The first to return
In the middle of the night
In the middle of a dream
You said everything
Was all right
Where you were &
Where I’d be

I’ve seen a few since
Mostly relatives
My Father / yes &
Maybe I’ll see more
Specters / ghosts
Ectoplasmic memories
But no nightmare / you
No night sweats
No heart palpitations
You were peace
A conversation I may
Never have had
Yet one I’ll never

Why the fuck did you
Pick me?


Reaching 50 odd years is
Quite an accomplishment
According to the obituary
Section of today’s news-
Paper found soaking on
The rest room floor at work
I knew none of the decedents
But could empathize with
Them all / I had thought 70 to
Be a realistic goal to shoot
For / seems I’ve already
Reached that median age
When the possibilities are no
Longer endless / a good third
Of the names I’d read had
Expired mid-50-ish / the others
Were between 70 and 90
Respectively / seems people
Rarely die in their 60s / maybe
That’s the pre-de-terminated age
If you can sneak past 60 then
You’ve got it made / at least for
10 years or so / I realize there
Are exceptions / there always are
But I can deal with that / I guess
I just don’t want someone to read
Of my demise in a waterlogged
Paper sitting on the toilet at work
Spare me a crumb of dignity and
I’ll go out at 60 gladly / really / I
Don’t mind being the exception



This morning
I dreamed I heard someone
Walking around my bed
A steady breathing
I could not see this person
Having submerged myself
In sheet and coverlet
So I listened
While resting my hand on my
Dog’s restless slumber I had
A fleeting sense of absorbing
His dream
Of tapping into his thoughts
The mysterious visitor stopped
Settling on the edge of my bed
Awakening me to an empty
Weight and silence

This afternoon hurt me
It poked and prodded me
With dental high jinks
It bled me
I had let myself go and so
Must pay the price
I prayed for death but
Death eluded me
Leaving my pride swollen
And my face numb

This evening
I slept again tho’ not long
And uneventful
I’d like to have dreamed of
All the multi-colored mums
Encircling Lake Anna*
Yet no dream came
As I awoke to the slow motion
Movement of my wife
Settling on the edge of our bed
I’d swear I could smell flowers



I write to keep my guts in
To keep them coiled tightly
As nocturnal vines
Clinging to visceral restraint
(To keep them in their place)

If I should cease writing
My guts would spill out
Like herniated sausages
Writhing in agony
Flopping in mute protest on
Unwashed linoleum floors
Sliding into neglected corners
Amidst the dust bunnies and
Cat hair
To curl up and die

And I would curl up and die
A gutless death
Best to keep writing

But maybe I should get
An X-ray
Just to be safe...



Fishnet stockings hug blue veined legs
Cherry red lips clasp blood stained cigarette
Slow lisped syllables form expletives
Expectorant explosions lost in the crowd
Hand on hip, breasts like a weapon
Holding your eyes in deep contempt
No one’s exempt from her astringent odour
Or unfashionable sense of decorum
As whiskey stumbles through her veins
Mingling with disease and degradation
The darkness becomes her savior
With each night an unwitting patron
The shadows creating character
Coin creates the game

Tawdry room silhouetted in 40 watt light
Floor boards wince in protestation
Bed springs sigh under the sycophantic
The dust of dead skin and sex
Rises from the wrestling sheets
While lust is furtively extinguished
She closes her eyes to the naked pain
A smile is a dream she once had

Another morning yawns empty as her bed
Her latest paramour having fled hours ago
The light is unkind and her room is cold
The money on her dresser lies crumpled
Dirty and torn like a dress she has born
Through the filth and violence of her

Glancing at a watch she’d once pawned
A gift from an unremembered suitor
The liquor store opens in 15 minutes
Still time for a piss and a smoke
She walks the hallowed hall to the shared
Reflecting on the life she has led
Entering the confines of the inner sanctum
She drops her soiled panties
Amidst the pounding of her heart
Listening to her stream strike the porcelain
Like rain on the roof of her childhood
Smiling, almost...



Bending / ripping voices
From inanimate bodies
Tearing their hearts out
And sewing them back in
Backwards / cramming
Words down convoluted
Throats / layer upon layer
Of digestion and elimination
Shape shifting on a grand
Scale (mirrors avoided)
Electric buzz infiltrates the
Hum of genetic upheaval
Cancer calls the witness
A bruised knuckle victim
Of questions un-replied

Melting bottled blues into
A batch of bad liquor
Hallucinating without the
Worm / drinking pistol
Shots in homicide glasses
Plotting escape in
Cemetery cars
Dead end driving thru
Dead end lives
Smoking your last
Borrowed cigarette

“She sure do dance good!”

Here’s my card / call
Me if you remember



There’s times when time’s all I got
When the clock ticks backwards
And there ain’t nothin’ to fill the day
Sittin’ in a broke down chair in front
Of a broke down T.V.
Wonderin’ what’s goin’ on in there
What them people sayin’
What they getting’ so angry about
Mixin’ beer and blood pressure medicine
(what don’t kill you cures you / or some
such nonsense)
I got the resources of the ignorant and
The brains of a Rhodes scholar
But I’m lazier than Hell / I’ll tell you that
Right up front
I can’t be bothered with nothin’ I can’t
Touch or smell or taste
This house is fallin’ down around my ears
But it’s my house / you hear me
It’s got my DNA all over it
If this were a crime scene I’d be the
Murder weapon / the old woman tells me
I’m slowly killin' her anyway
I ain’t professin’ to know no answers
And I’m too old to worry about questions
When I die I’m gone and you can debate
Where I went all you want but it won’t
Change nothin’ / no sir / just don’t tell
No lies about me / that’s all I ask / just
Treat the recently released kindly / and
Turn that damn channel / ain’t nothin’ but
Lesbians and gays on T.V. and that
Damn Dr Phil makin’ me feel lousy
‘Bout bein’ normal
(tock tick tock tick)


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