Montgomery Barham – Four Poems

the same thing

Happy Trails… What’s this for? he Mrs. tapping the bank statement… Here Hon. Pointing to the Happy Trails charge. Reddening face, tap! tap! no right here!. Moe shrugged. Oh that, gotta massage. You went to a massage parlor! Woman or a man? Woman! or a man! A woman for petesake, pushing 60, my dear The Mrs. hisses. Any sex? A-N-Y S-E-X? You kiddin’ right, she weighed a ton  That’s not a “no”…Did you have…  Of course not she only used her hand

Earl... Dad beats him, he runs away & heads back to Chapel Hill again Drop him in a strange city, in underwear, nothing to his name Back tomorrow in car, cash, clothes, driving around new girlfriend He’s 17. Constant source of peer envy. Enormous gifts gab, anatomy, no shame Fast forward. More. Stoned confessions, drunken revelations, now the real history Sold, kept, loaned by moneyed men. not sex he says–I didn’t blow them, they blew me.


the same day

DownstreamJUST PERFECT!!! recoils off station walls One lone soul, yelling two words, over & over, in disgust Ignored by the evening rush hour crowd, in hurry to go God’s knows where Moe, heading home, watched for a moment from the top stair  Alone. Crying. Reached that point of that’s it & refusing to bend or adjust Later, TV news said he jumped in front of a train–his name was Justin Perfect.

Upstream… One black high heel shoe, fuck me style Laying by one of the station columns — looking little worn, new like Moe heading to work–up pops a memory in his little pointed head…….She’s in stockings, black high heels shoes, laying in bed, on honeymoons, lazy afternoons, spread the long suffering wife  Spent & reborn, tiny in this life


Few ...      bring so much for so little gatekeepers–pinched by a lesser god .. no eulogies, cute kittens or dead moms SASE or no reply will be be returned thrown away trash balled up in a wad gotta spar with the MFA folk, show’em proof you are what you learned

endless ….    meetings , tangents  always one loves hear self speak ans, solutions, presentations, gulps of coffee silent one poker faces pretending to hear all meetings the same yet each unique raise ladders of sand to construct castles of air that collapse as soon as the conference room clears