a poetry e-zine










Poems By Daniel Romo
Love Song for Matthew McConaughey

“I have no problem with commitment. In fact, I love having someone in my life.”
-Matthew McConaughey

I wouldn’t call it a man crush.

Because I’m not too ashamed to declare—
You are more than mere man, and I’m not some
Self-conscious sophomore gushing
At the prospect of a temporary squeeze,
A Friday night post football game flashback
Hidden within your laugh lines.

And every time you smile it’s as if you’re
Paying homage to the sun
For bestowing you that bronzed, taut torso,
Because his beams were partial to a Texan twang
That even then, rang Alamo bell towers
Upon your lovely birth.

You’re a real-life version of the
Shirtless, charismatic characters you play
Christening you worthy of Oscars,
And paparazzi flash, looking to profit off pictures
Of you jogging briskly down Doheny Drive.

But I wouldn’t call it a man crush.

Because I’m not gay, and this is more of an admiration,
A “McCon-aholic” invitation if you will
For all who wish to thank you for filming
Love scenes opposite slinky starlets
Kissing them hard as if you’re doing it for us,
For every man in the theatre who doesn’t look as good
As you undressed,
As if your lips are our lips,
And your pecs are our pecs.

I Wikipedia’d you last night Matthew David McConaughey
Born November 4th 1969 in Uvalde Texas to Mary and James…
And discovered your personal motto
Is Just Keep Livin’, and I felt intrusive, guilty, selfish,
Because that’s what we do through you.

You are a martyr Matthew McConaughey.
A Bud Lite drinkin’, talkin’ box scores man’s man,
A perfectly pleasin’, two-steppin’ lady’s man,
A candlelit star whose splendorous vapors
Remain firmly rooted in real life,
Embodying all that is beautiful,
In this Hollywood world.


Small World

She typed furiously
On her laptop,
And homely.
Her tan loafers
Firmly planted
On the carpet
She never had sex.
She captivated me
I wondered what she
Was writing
So hard,
And thought
She was a poet too,
And if so,
Would she rather dine
With Rumi,
Or Bukowski,
Or maybe Plath?
She paused for a moment
Holding her bangs
Between her fingers,
And I thought Plath.
Definitely Plath.

(Published in The Chickasaw Plum)


I’m at the Y trying to finish that last pull-up
Ignoring my leaden torso the weight of too many burdens,
As if fulfilling the fullness of the number 10
Will actually make me a fitter and better person,
When Bon Jovi filters through the cost efficient speakers
Over the classic rock station.

It’s as if Jon and his big-haired namesakes
Wrote that song specifically for this moment
With me in mind.

“Whoooaaaahhhh, we’re halfway there. Whooaahh-oh,
Liiiiiiiving on a praa-ayer.
Take my hand and we’ll make it I swear.”

He swears we’ll make it.
And I believe him.

I believe that my thirty-something years on this planet
Has taught me never to underestimate the power of goodwill,
And the inspiration of an 80’s power ballad.
I believe that despite man’s best efforts to thwart himself,
In the end, he gets what he deserves.

Yet I wonder why we intrinsically rely upon music
To get us through difficult times in our lives.
I wonder if musicians listen to their own songs
While they’re working out.
And I wonder when Bon Jovi became classic rock.

My grip loosens. Fingertips numb. Because failing and feelings
Have always been one in the same for me.

But my body pushes on in spite of itself,
Pulling my grinding jaw over the metal bar
Society has set for thirty-somethings like me,
Where childhood mantras in the form of pop music play
Still ringing true, and middle age is just a faded dream away.

“We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got,
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.”

But this is where he is wrong. It does make a difference.
Making it, makes all the difference
In the world Jon.


Daniel Romo teaches high school creative writing, and lives in Long Beach, CA.  He has most recently been published in poeticdiversity, Monkeybicycle, and The Northville Review.  He is an MFA candidate at Antioch University, and thinks gray sky the utmost inspiration.  More of his writing can be found here- Peyote Soliloquies

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