Because he never told me stories,
My father forced me to talk to strangers.
Maybe the only ones he had were of the war,
Which were better washed down
With a shot and a beer at the corner bar.
But whatever the reason, he never sat me on his knee,
As other fathers did with their sons,
And passed on the accumulated wisdom of Dickson City.
I never heard from him about the ghouls that lurked in abandoned
Who would place their mouths on mine
And suck my breath away if I ever wandered in;
Or the thin as mirror maidens who floated in the polluted
Who would bite off the tip of my penis if I ever stepped into
Or the witches that lived in the bell towers of the Protestant
Who weren’t satisfied with merely burning my eyes out
With glimpses of their sagging breasts,
But would incinerate my soul, and then make me thank them for
All of this I had to pick up on my own,
By piecing together the facts of life
I overheard on the school bus.
Ron Yazinski’s poems have appeared in Strong Verse, The Bijou
Review, Amarillo Bay, The Edison Literary Review, The Cynic
Review, The Wilderness House Review, Scholars and Rogues,
Chantarelle’s Notebook, The Electric Poet, Centrifugal Eye,
amphibi.us, The Write Room, Pulsar and Crash. I am also the
author of the chapbook HOUSES: AN AMERICAN ZODIAC, which was
published by The Poetry Library and a book of poems SOUTH OF