by Dennis Paul Wilken

Anger At

Anger at the fat black woman, who slammed her little boy’s head
Against the bus window, just for talking.
Anger at the skinny, wispy white man, who called my adopted daughter a nigger.
Anger at my father, who always mocked my ambitions, while
Advising me to do shit he never could.
Anger at my mother, for
Always taking his side.
Anger at the girls, who
Abandoned me too early, and
Anger at the girls, who
Acted as if they would never leave.
Anger at the bosses, who
Attacked my work without reason, and
Anger at the teachers, who
Advised me against my true desires.
Anger at the friends, who
Admired the wrong things about me, and at the head of the line,
Anger at myself, for
All of the above.


Unsought Opinion

Together so long
They look like
A pair of old cats
From the same litter,
Lips pursed in tandem,
Heads trembling in time,
Neither able to blow out the 50 candles
On their anniversary wedding cake;
So romantic, my date says,
Big black eyes spotted with tears,
Sadder than a good dog with rabies, I answer,
And feel our short time together end
Only hours before it actually does.


With Apologies to Julio Iglesias

The girl with the wooden leg.
The girl with barely a chin.
The girl with the camera, who developed her own film.
The girl with the erect, inch-high nipples.
The girl with the junkie boyfriend.
The girl with the soft, raven-haired pussy.
The girl with the club foot.
The girl with the restaurant.
The girl with the horny mom.
The girl with the saggy tits, like balloons almost emptied of air.
The girl with the jealous sister.
The girl with the screaming, autistic son.
The girl with the high, eye-obscuring cheekbones.
The girl with black velvet skin.
The girl with the buttery skin.
The girl with the beautifully hooked nose.
The girl with the size five feet who made me feel pedophilic.
The girl from Kentucky with the twang.
The girl with the raspily sexy voice.
Sorry Julio, but this one is for all the girls
I’ve loved.

Dennis P. Wilken is a veteran journalist and former writer for Cincinnati Magazine. Most recently his poetry has appeared in Word Riot, Madswirl and his editorials in Pacific Publishing publications.  His last chapbook, Sweat Off the Diamond, was published in 2009. He lives in Seattle, Washington where he is a Contributing Editor at Commonline.