I’d Like To Say…

I tell him nicely

a couple of times—

not into dudes

but he persists

sends me shots

of his mouth

wide open

tongue out

please let me

he says

you won’t be disappointed

he’ll even meet me

at a gloryhole

pay me a hundred

to let him do it

I imagine it—

myself as a whore

I should be a whore

after all

but no…

I’m not doing that

I’m not there yet

finally I quit answering


and pull the ad

cuz tonight’s evidently

not the night I’ll find

what I’m looking for

just like every night

that came before

and I’d like to say

I don’t understand

his brand of desperation

as I turn out the light

and lie here

not sleeping

and later

as I jerk off and cum

down the throat

of my stupid



Days Of Our Lives

sometimes I wonder

how much it’s all

just an act—

monkey see

monkey do

too much TV

too many movies

and we become a race

of soap opera stars

wailing over problems

we secretly wouldn’t

give a shit about

if only ordinary life

didn’t bore us

so damn much

I think that’s part

of Dexter’s appeal—

an examination of the soul

of a psychopath

who learned to fake

every emotion

to blend into society

we identify

with his “dark passenger”

because maybe

we’re all a bit more


than we’d care

to admit

and yes

I’m aware the irony

of using a TV show to make my fucking point

So, What Do You Do?

Many days I’d stand there

in my supervisor’s office

waiting for him to get off the phone

with some pain-in-the-ass 

so he could explain to me

the potential pitfalls of the day’s jobs.

And after he’d hang up,

and say “Jesus Christ!”

he’d go on again about quitting

and becoming a dishwasher.

It became an inside joke—

we were both gonna quit

and find our “Dream Dishwasher’s Job”

and leave the stress

of machine shop life behind.

Well, I may have found mine.

Interviewed yesterday for it.

Both the white-shirt manager and 

the kitchen supervisor

seemed to like me,

and after the interview, 

he bragged about what a cake job it is,

as he showed me around—

the walk-in, the ovens, the sinks,

the racks full of trays waiting 

to be delivered to that building

over there. He pointed and said,

“There’s the mental hospital.

That’s like a prison.

They’re all fucking crazy in there.”

(I must be fucked up, because

something about washing the dishes

of the criminally insane

somehow appeals to me.)

The pay is surprisingly good, too.

Plus I can listen to music, 

get a free meal sometimes. 

The only downside I can see

is going on a first date,

and having her ask

the inevitable question…

And I’ll look her straight in the eye,

and say, “I’m a poet.”

On second thought, 

maybe “Dishwasher” 

sounds a bit more impressive.

Published by Mike Zone

Mike Zone is the former Editor in Chief of Dumpster Fire Press and managing editor of Concrete Mist Press. The author of Screaming in the End: Poems and Stories, Fuck You: A Fucking Poetry Chap, Shedding Dark Places (almost), One Hell of a Muse , as well as coauthor of The Grind and Razorville. A frequent contributor to Alien Buddha Press and Mad Swirl. His work has been featured in: A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Black Shamrock Magazine, Horror Sleaze Trash, Better Than Starbucks, Piker Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, and Cult Culture magazine.

One thought on “VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Brian Rilhmann

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