Wednesday 5 November 2014

2 Poems by William Greenway

Mary, Mary
for Mindi

The thing is,
I actually liked
sex, at least
later, but I
missed it with
Him. This anemic
angel gave me
a brief flutter
in the loins,
enough to make
me wonder what
it would be
like with Yahweh.

Instead I got
this tiny spiritual
rush, which is
fine, but a
girl wants more
than the carpenter’s
awl and drill:
the post planted
firmly in the
ground, legs and
arms uncrossed, outflung
and bound to
the bedpost, with
silken scarves
taut and tender
as nails.

In the Region of Women

There are those I don’t know,
but who seem to know me.
It’s as if there were
a Hades of love, all
you never took advantage of
or got the chance to.
These opportunities
lean on the lampposts
of a dark road through
my dreams, garbed in
gaudy black lace and leather.
Sometimes we dance slowly
in the spotlight of the streetlight,
or lie in the dark in the grass,
the dew beading on her back.
But there’s always a cop nearby,
whose “what’s all this then?”,
black hat, birdsong whistle,
and flashlight summon the sunrise
I know too well,
when long shadows again
become the bars of the same old cell.


William Greenway’s Selected Poems is from FutureCycle Press. Both his tenth and eleventh collections won Ohio Poetry Book of the Year Awards. He has published in Poetry, American Poetry Review , Georgia Review, Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah , and Prairie Schooner . He’s Distinguished Professor of English at Youngstown State University.

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