|| 3 Poems by Justin Hyde ||

the syncopated rhythm of stone

i understand
toe fired shotguns
investing in the stock market
tax evasion
the beating of wives
the insertion of foreign objects into rectums
locking children in cages
volunteering at soup kitchens
holding the door for someone in a wheelchair
machine guns in malls
running marathons
orderlies raping retarded women
munchausen by proxy
the collecting of polynesian stamps
huffing gasoline
calf implants
intercourse with sheep
the posthumous fame of elvis
changing ones own brake fluid
needles between ones toes
the placebo effect
the pride of a
newly minted eagle scout
and elderly people
going broke
in front of
slot machines,
it's all these seats in churches
and the glass-brained marks in them
the fingers of my mind
can't wrap around.

when are you going to hit me?

she asked
during a drunken argument
about her male friend
and my jealousy.

every man
she'd been with
even her own father
had used knuckles.

week later
i showed at a party
i wasn't supposed
to make.

she was in a back room
on a futon
with some snake-skinned
black guy (not
the friend)

the fuck
you want?
he shot
compound fractures
my way.

nothing man
wrong door.

she was x'd
out of her
didn't even

i stood at the door
then i

three days later
she showed up
at my apartment,
she had a
black eye.

go ahead
i know you
want to,
she said
dropping to her


one on one
they'll acknowledge
the ambiguity
of this whole catastrophe,
own up to fears
and the irrationality
of their biases.
get a group though
and the ego,
and chickenshit blood
start dribbling
down their chins.
it’s the worst goddamn b flick
you've ever seen,
only there you are
in the middle.

Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works with criminals. He has a web-page here: http://www.nyqpoets.net/poet/justinhyde.