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2 poems by Michael Colonnese

After Compiling a List of 16 Things to Do, I Retreat To a Backyard Hammock and Attempt to Clear My Mind

At first, static,

the haunting

scratch of pen on pad.


only gradually

and the rustle

of dead leaves.

My heartbeat, a frantic


the morning’s tension


my jaw and neck.

In a moment,

I will be breathing.

Traffic sounds,

the buzz of insects,

the indifferent

world of things

and other creatures.

This moment is important.

This moment is already gone.

The pages

of my notebook flutter

in the wind.

About Love

Once I knew a poet

who made


million dollars

simply by leasing

a dozen, rusty

oil-tanker trucks

and disposing

of liquid

industrial waste

by deliberately


the rear spigots

of his trucks

slightly open,

on dark,

rainy nights,

and hiring guys


to drive them,

down I-95,

to the Meadowlands

and back.

He's behind

bars now,

which is


for the best,

but his love poems

do occasionally

trickle out into print

to suggest

he's been running

a smaller


that doesn't pay

nearly as well.


Michael Colonnese is the author of a hard-boiled detective novel, Sex and Death, I Suppose, and of two poetry collections, Temporary Agency and Double Feature. He lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina.


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