When the ones we want to love us  

leave no doubt they’ve left us behind,  

should we loll around, scavengers  

of leftovers lying around?  

Or should we collate our losses  

like alarmed lieutenants behind  

the lines, wannabe avengers  

of honor lost on those martial routs?  


Memories — my dear comrades of old

(The fire we braved!

And the rations and the women

we shared!) — They’ve renounced

their rank and lost distinction.

Though still attached to my boots

they cower behind.

They have become shadows

and behind my back they conspire

to disappear in the shade

to camouflage their remnant connection

to all the wars and occupations,

the courts martial and commendations

that shaped my life’s deployment.


Courage is not just the medal, and love not the ring.

Our identities transcend our organs, nerves, and bones.

No ideas, no concepts, are ever concrete things,

and neither are the handsome words by which they are known.

The world we see is made of steel, stone, plastic, glass, wood,

material structures made of molecules, atoms,

nucleons, hadrons, quarks, firmions, and other coulds

and shoulds (names await definition of a datum).

We preside over realms of rebars and 2X4s
but we’re subjects of shadow monarchs called metaphors.


and beginnings end and ends begin.

eternities move ahead and back.

our present is our time to butcher

before the now determines our fast.

in the spot between gone and again

all whitenesses contain shades of black.

some poets remember the future and other poets create the past

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: