UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
JACK MARLOWE

Blue Testament

working-class
sweat drips
from the furrows
of labored brows
like tears, trickling
into the valley
of the shadow
of a dead-end job

as the hands
of the timeclock
slice away
blue days
like the swords
of prophets

and the pages
of the calendar
conspire
against the years

twelve disciples
of an improbable
savior, reciting
the gospel of Time

and nine-to-fiver
obituaries
like holy scriptures

while terminal
believers bow
at the feet of
the triune god:

a present
that can never
be nailed down

a past
that can't be
resurrected

and

a future
that hasn't
got a prayer.


Finally

he was a balloon
of expectations
with the air rapidly
leaking out

his tomorrows
shrinking
into irrelevance.

the ten o'clock news
wasn't specific
about the backstory

might've been
a failed marriage
might've been
a failed business
might've been
off his meds

when the voices
in his head
started singing
a lullaby

and Willie figured
that it must be time
to pull over
on the side of the road.

was it serendipity
that he happened
to be driving
on a highway overpass
at the time?

he stepped out
stood at the railing
and contemplated
the last obstacles
remaining

between
a legacy of failure
and its repudiation

one line to cross
one leap to take
into oncoming traffic
into the headlines
a deflated dreamer
like a pressed flower
with broken petals
lying in the middle
of Highway 360

a life lived in vain
perhaps
but
finally
making an impact
of a sort.


Party's Over

when
her back
is turned

or her lips
are sealed
parting
only to
refuse
revile
or
heave

when
you're alone
at the bottom
of a bottle

saturated
toxic
sad ugliness
laid bare
unwanted

you
understand
how the worm
would feel
if he could
still feel

when
the night
is wasted
and
the mezcal
is all gone.


Jack T. Marlowe is a gentleman rogue from Dallas,
Texas. A writer of poetry and short fiction, he also
hosts the "Outlaws of the Spoken Word" open mic.
His work has appeared in the pages of Underground
Voices, Zygote in My Coffee, Words Dance, remark,
Cause & Effect, decomP, and elsewhere. Jack can
also be found online at www.inkandblood.net







2007 Underground Voices