2 Poems by Joseph Veronneau

After Hours

I could hear the lounge band
playing deep into the night;
every cord hanging loosely on some guy’s
teeth as more beer was tossed down.
I was no part of that, I was in the kitchen hearing bitching
from the manager
who says I missed a spot with my mop
on the French fry greased floor.
Look dude, the paycheck is way
too thin for my liking, why don’t you try your hand for awhile.
He was silent, his face looked strained like he’d been
piping that trumpet
the band was playing upstairs.
I left my hat on the counter,
grabbed my coat from the smoke room
and split,
leaving him for last call
as I went in search
of my own.


Charming Country People Out of their Roaming Area

Returning from dropping off a friend
a fat woman crossing the street
with her equally charming boyfriend
wearing a Dale Earnhardt cap.
She acts like she has the right
to step in front of my 3000 pound car.
By all means, please do so.
I would be happy to oblige.
Then the downtown traffic
and stare at your smashed up face
and maybe get to see exactly
what you ate for lunch today
as well.
She grunts and swings her fist
at my car, intentionally missing
With her “hold me back, hold me back!” routine.
I flip off her and her man
I didn’t have a choice,
I had nowhere to park the car
but maybe, bitch,
my foot will miss the breaks
next time.

Joseph Veronneau has been published around the small press since 1998. He runs Scintillating Publications, a chapbook publishing press.