When one party ends,
another quickly begins somewhere else nearby,
people rise out of cloudy
sweaty rooms only to unfold
into new chairs in another apartment
as if life depended on it,
barely making it out of the sinking ship
of a party's end.

One group to another
and another
shuffle across hardwood floors
getting fresh drinks, changing the music
laughter, hugs, kissy-faced strangers.

Outside, a skunk's molecules
pass in the breeze
as a subtle spirit,
a recurring phase
of this ugly duckling street.

I've found true association
with silence,
it's hard to go wrong with it.
Silence knows nothing of office cubicles
or local AA meetings,
and needs no recovery
from hangovers of relationships.


You live in the smallest state in the states,
with a new girlfriend and perhaps friends
from the video store.
I wonder if sometimes you tell her about
how you sold out your best friend.
Do you?
Or does it come to your mind,
creaking floorboards in the middle of night,
speaking words to you unimaginable,
those ghostly times coming back to haunt
your ass after a few beers in the evening.
I hope sometimes
that death will stare you right in the face
and just for a moment
you realize the past wasn't so bad..

Joseph Veronneau runs Scintillating Publications, a chapbook publishing venue.
He'll be publishing JJ Campbell's latest chap titled "Feel My Disease."
His own poems have or will be published in Typewriter Voodoo, Remark,
Zygote In My Coffee, Poetry Superhighway, and many others.

2004 Underground Voices