Giving Up

I set fire
to an old manuscript today,
the wind took the smoke
to higher levels of understanding
than they ever would have had
in my hands.

Lowering The Dose

Like a servant in solitude,
I come running when
my girlfriend calls
beauty whips me into youth,
pushes its clasps onto aching shoulders,
whispers my name
to hypnotize my sleep

running and running
back into a young man yearning
to find his way again

does it matter where
we came from
or where we are going?

I woke up this morning
dodging my own pulse
and looked towards windows
of an epiphany-
somewhere I thought
the heart would sing
more joyfully

It is hard
for one to keep balance
in such a diabetic masquerade-
toiling until the last good cell
has the good cry
not knowing itself anymore
is to rejoice.

I sit here shivering,
each time I go out
it becomes colder.
This took a long time to perfect,
this illness of obscure measures,
my eyes that of a gypsy
to these streetlights of abandon.

Last night I flailed
in goose down sheets of sweat
and turned and turned
deeper into my own roulette

I dress as if
I love myself,
but await more shallow features
to reappear.

We love each other,
yet pound into further submissions daily
and need it to be unique
and fearless.

I expect to be interrogated once more,
why this afternoon any different?
And fight off the dreadful storms
with a cup of juice and the obituaries.

Joseph Veronneau lives and writes in Burlington, Vermont and runs
Scintillating Publications, which publishes chapbooks for small press writers. Check
out his website at

His own poems are forthcoming or have appeared recently in Thieves Jargon,
Eastvillagepoetry, Zygote In My Coffee, Chiron Review, Children Churches and
Daddies, and elsewhere.

2005 Underground Voices